blog Chief information officers are a gentle, politely spoken bunch by nature; intelligent, well-educated, diplomatic. That’s why when one of them really lets loose at a vendor you have to stand back a little bit — or get burnt by the fireworks taking place. A case in point is Macquarie University CIO Marc Bailey’s epic rant posted this month about how Apple is completely screwing up its enterprise offering.
From Mac OS X Server, to authentication and directories, to virtualisation, it appears Apple just can’t get it right. Writes Bailey, in a post entitled “I want to believe”:
“My appeal to Apple is “get in the game or get out of it altogether because what you’re doing right now is akin to radiation poisoning of Macintosh in the enterprise.
… Ironically, when I started in higher ed I thought that it would be a seachange to enjoy core business attention by Apple Inc. Frustratingly, Apple it seems has transcended that traditional home ground and moved on to direct consumer relationships with its iOS strategy, meaning that even mainstream universities experience indifference. Apple risks losing all lab computing across the board in most universities, and relegating students and staff to a second class personal experience by making management of Macintosh a tenuous and minority pursuit. Ultimately that threatens freedom of choice at the desktop – something I’m passionately committed to.
Don’t get me wrong, nobody could be unhappy with the leadership and consumer tech at competitive price points that Apple is delivering these days. I want to believe that it is not willing to sacrifice heartland Macintosh adoption to do so.”
It’s hard to disagree with any of the points Bailey is making. For the longest time, Apple has had a ‘half-in, half-out’ strategy in the enterprise. I personally cannot understand why it does not create a unit of the company dedicated to serving these extremely lucrative customers. Sure, keep consumer as the main focus, but also target big business. It works for HP, Dell and so on. Why can’t it work for Steve Jobs’ merry band?