Apple and Accenture today announced the latest in a string of deals and alliances that put iPhones, iPads and Macs straight inside the heart of the modern enterprise.
Ready for business
Accenture says it will create a dedicated iOS practice to create business-focused apps for enterprise clients.
The idea is that companies will be able to use Accenture and Apple’s combined expertise to create digital transformation solutions that build business efficiency, boost productivity, and create new opportunities.
Pierre Nanterme, Accenture’s chairman and CEO, said:
“Based on our experience in developing mobile apps, we believe that iOS is the superior mobile platform for businesses and are excited to be partnering with Apple.”
He describes the joint attempt as a move to combine Accenture’s “vast digital capabilities and industry expertise” with Apple’s ability to create great products.
“We are in a perfect position to help our clients transform the way they work.”
‘Scratching the surface’
“Starting 10 years ago with iPhone, and then with iPad, Apple has been transforming how work gets done, yet we believe that businesses have only just begun to scratch the surface of what they can do with our products,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook in a press release.
IBM also responded to the enterprise-focused news, saying in a statement: “This further validates the market we established with Apple over three years ago.”
“Since that time, IBM has built a billion-dollar-revenue business and delivered a total platform for enterprise mobility — web services for security, device management and Watson analytics — all front-ended by more than 100 made-for-business apps that are transforming the nature of work.”
Accenture has published a new Apple-focused section on its website. This explains some of the key ways the new partners hope to work together:
- App design and development
- IoT data analytics
- Leveraging other relationships, such as those between Apple and Cisco
- Migration services to bring legacy services to modern iOS apps.
Migration services are particularly important given numerous legacy systems are balkanized on platforms that have not made the cut into the mobile age, leaving enterprises whose businesses are built around those solutions at a competitive disadvantage.
Apple in the enterprise
Apple is securing its space in enterprise IT. A Jamf report revealed that 91 percent of organizations now use Mac and a phenomenal 99 percent are on iPad and iPhone.
“Apple offers the most innovative mobile technology in the world combined with the world’s most advanced mobile OS,” says Rowan Trollope, Cisco’s SVP GM of IoT and Applications Group.
You can already see clear evidence of the iOS-inspired transformation impacting industries, including insurance and medicine. There is little doubt that Apple has now built a strong position in enterprise IT.
Apple’s move to extend its business into the enterprise markets is already bearing fruit, but it’s possible that company leadership also sees this as a moral mission.
Apple’s moral mission
Speaking to The New York Times, Cook noted the inability of an increasingly polarized U.S. administration to get things done, saying that as a result:
“I think we have a moral responsibility to help grow the economy, to help grow jobs, to contribute to this country and to contribute to the other countries that we do business in.”
It looks as if Apple’s CEO has been winning over some of the biggest names in corporate America to his way of thinking.
His company now works closely with some of the biggest names in the space—IBM, SAP, Cisco, Dimension Data, Deloitte, JAMF and others.
All these enterprise users will now be ready to ramp up their ARKit development plans as and when iOS 11 ships — and can now call on a range of skilled systems integrators (such as Deloitte, Accenture, IBM and others) to help them transform the future of business in the digital age.
“Our enterprise business continues to expand,” said Apple CFO Luca Maestri earlier this year.
The new deal with Accenture will only extend that business even more.
It is a sad reflection of the state of institutionalized thinking that analysts appear to be blind to Apple’s growing position in the modern enterprise.
They need to wise up:
Apple has also become the world’s top IT vendor, according to Gartner.
It’s time to understand that Apple’s growing enterprise position is not a blip, nor is it a rounding error: It is a deliberately developed partnership strategy that seems to be working rather well.
UPDATE: 8/29/2017: Added IBM statement.
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