For years I swam upstream, resisting first Microsoft's and then Apple's attempts to align technical details of my professional life according to the standardized tools the companies decided I required. There always seemed one application, function, service, or issue preventing my fully embracing the manufacturer's recommended solution or integration.
Maybe a word processing program didn't meet all my (potentially peculiar) needs, so I continued using another vendor's alternative. Maybe I felt I possessed too much or too many varying types of data to reasonably place it all in a single solution provider's cloud, so I implemented workarounds manually synchronizing and backing up data. Or maybe I didn't feel comfortable purchasing and storing all my business applications within a single software account. But then I began learning lessons.
Loyalty has its benefits
With an Apple account, managing software purchases and licenses became easier when I centralized software purchases within a single account. Using iCloud to back up my iPhone, configuring a new replacement was a breeze, with all my apps, Wi-Fi accounts and passwords, and similar settings almost effortlessly restored. Leveraging iCloud for photo backups meant I no longer had to manually back up images from other devices in my account, and I could easily share images between multiple devices and multiple users.
The same benefits, and more, are available to all businesses. Since crossing what was, for me, the last assimilation hurdle — moving all my files, documents, spreadsheets, photos, videos, etc. to iCloud — I've discovered a wealth of convenience resulting from standardizing on Apple technologies.
Simplified administration, greater convenience, and improved efficiencies all result from the following benefits arising from broader adoption and deployment of Apple hardware (multiple Mac laptops, an iMac, multiple iPads, multiple iPhones, multiple Apple TVs, and even an Apple Watch) and software (iCloud, iTunes, office productivity apps, and Time Machine):
- Using iCloud Drive, all organizational, departmental, or user files — photos, videos, documents, spreadsheets, presentations, etc. — can be made available for access by multiple users leveraging multiple devices.
- Embracing iCloud backup and iCloud Drive services helps protect organizations against data loss, eliminates the need for businesses to build and maintain their own file storage infrastructure, leverages the benefits of popular cloud-based trends, and decreases IT capital and operations expenses.
- Using a corporate Apple account, software purchases and licenses for a variety of applications including utilities, productivity tools, and graphics programs can be purchased, managed, administered, and tracked within a single platform.
- Organizations that combine the benefits of Apple's Volume Purchase Program with the adoption of Macs, iMacs, iPhones, iPads, and Apple TVs will find further leveraging existing iCloud, backup, and software investments comes easy.
The bottom line
Reasonably sized Apple offices that adopt the manufacturers' standard solutions will find IT administration challenges ease up instead of becoming more complex. Enterprise corporations will require more sophisticated systems and controls.
- OS X El Capitan: The smart person's guide (TechRepublic)
- iOS 9.3 features reveal Apple targeting enterprise and education (TechRepublic)
- Apple Configurator 2 makes iPad and iPhone deploys even easier for SMBs (TechRepublic)
- The best Mac builds for CEOs, engineers, designers, and more (TechRepublic)
- Apple's first employee: The remarkable odyssey of Bill Fernandez (TechRepublic)
- Apple in the Enterprise: A Strategic Guide (ZDNet)
Erik Eckel owns and operates two technology companies. As a managing partner with Louisville Geek, he works daily as an IT consultant to assist small businesses in overcoming technology challenges and maximizing IT investments. He is also president of Eckel Media Corp., a communications company specializing in public relations and technical authoring projects.