Is Apple hardware and software really ready for business? CIOs speak out

iPhones and iPads are top of the pile for consumers but enterprises may take a different view...

...about two on average every day from Microsoft.

"Apple puts most of its effort into consumer-focused technology and they create cool products," says Grebennikov. "But no company can just concentrate on one area and, as Apple sees the adoption of its products in the enterprise, the focus will start to shift more towards products that are specifically designed for the business user."

Grebennikov believes the shift in focus is already taking place. He points to specially created application programming interfaces that are being developed to help suppliers, such as Kaspersky, control enterprise issues. However, Grebennikov also believes any full-blown shift will not be quick and suggests Apple will not be truly enterprise-ready for at least three years.

Security considerations should not be taken for granted

Olivier Daloy, CISO at luxury group LVMH, says Apple devices can create unanticipated challenges for the unwary IT leader. Consumers enjoy using the sleek interfaces of iPhones and iPads, yet do not necessarily appreciate that Apple software requires - like any other system - to be carefully handled to avoid the threat posed by modern malware.

"Some people believe malware only exists on Windows-based PCs," says Daloy. "Individuals are very trusting of devices they have purchased for themselves and are not necessarily aware that other devices can also be compromised in a high-threat environment."

Daloy says the education process is absolutely crucial, with smart IT leaders prepared to show users how security risks are always present.

"Individuals will try to access the same websites and the same information regardless of device," says Daloy. "CIOs are going to have to tell users that there are some things you just can't do, such as clicking on malicious links."

Businesses must be clear on costs and clearer on objectives

CIOs operating in the cost-conscious business environment are keen to ensure that the value of a technology implementation is realised quickly. And for Adam Banks, CTO at financial services giant Visa Europe, cost must always be a key factor in any type of deployment - including the introduction of Apple devices in the enterprise.

In the short term, he believes most iPad tablets will be user-owned, with business use representing a small portion of overall utilisation. "Possibly the freedom that these devices represent, over a standard work-issued laptop, is part of their attraction," says Banks.

Almost one in five UK firms already uses tablets in the workplace, according to a recent study of 1,200 IT managers by technology reseller Equanet. But almost three-quarters, some 71 per cent, of tablets used for business purposes are employee-owned, with many users attracted by the perceived cool factor in owning an Apple device.

"Devices are going to evolve and provide more power to more people in more places," says Banks. "The business needs to assess the benefits of each new device, to ensure it is keeping up with its audience, such as consumers, stakeholders and partners, while avoiding jumping on the latest trends that could be here today and gone tomorrow."