The consumerization of I.T. continues as Apple benefits from the growth of “Bring Your Own Device” programs, according to a recent report by Forrester Research. The report estimates that in 2012 Apple will sell $10 billion worth of iPads to commercial customers.
The Enterprise sector (a.k.a. “the office”) has traditionally spent most of its budget on PCs and Microsoft products, but the demand for the iPad sparked a change in workplace practices, which continues to surface in Forrester’s data.
Forrester’s outlook for Apple remains strong into 2013 when the firm believes iPad sales in the workplace could total $16 billion. Forrester’s data imply that Apple, thanks in large part to the iPad, is making significant, and somewhat unexpected, inroads on Microsoft’s monopoly on the workplace. According to Forrester’s report:
The biggest disruptive force in the computer equipment market thus is … Apple. This is a surprise, because Apple has not and does not directly address the corporate market, while turning a wide variety of consumer technology markets upside-down. But its rapid growth in the corporate market has been the big surprise of 2011, and it will be even more of a factor in 2012.
What’s more fascinating is that Apple isn’t making overt attempts to market to the business community. Instead, the popularity the company has achieved in the consumer sector is spilling over into the commercial arena as more workers bring their own devices to work, then often seek reimbursement for some portion (or all) of the device’s cost. Large companies still don’t often favor wholesale adoption of Apple hardware, which makes the increasing popularity of the iPad in the workplace that much more remarkable.
According to Forrester, “Forrester explains, “The Apple assault on the corporate market has so far taken place without much formal Apple support, and probably without Apple itself understanding its full extent. That’s because corporate adoption of Apple products has been largely clandestine.”
The “clandestine” adoption of the iPad (and Apple products as a whole) in the office stems from the demands of regular office workers who have, as a group, made a dent in the longstanding habits of corporate I.T. departments.