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CIOs assess how Apple and Google approach enterprise apps

Matt Kapko | Dec. 12, 2016
Apple and Google both have unique ideas about how enterprises should develop apps for business, and each approach may appeal to IT organizations for a number of different reasons.

Google caters to enterprise app developers in three areas: via data, APIs and tools, such as App Maker, that are meant to quickly bring more services to organizations, according to Elissa Murphy, vice president of engineering at Google's G Suite of productivity apps. "We're looking at how we as a company can provide better services to be successful with their products and the integration of those programs," she says. 

Google frequently meets with its large enterprise customers, and it is in regular contact with smaller businesses, as well, according to Murphy. The company wants developers to use the tools or resources that they're most comfortable with, including its technology partners and integrators that can create add-on services or extend business process, she says.

Apple's partnerships in enterprise

Apple takes a more formal approach to enterprise development via partnerships with companies such as IBM, SAP, Cisco and Deloitte. But those programs don't always meet the needs of Apple's businesses customers, according to Shawn Wiora, interim CEO and CIO at Maxxsure, a cybersecurity firm. "These partnerships give credence to enterprises acquiring those combinations of technology, but beyond that I still don't know what the driving motivation is for me to stop what I'm doing and really focus on securing Apple in the workplace," he says. 

Apple's enterprise partnerships are an important foundation for businesses to build on, but the programs don't go far enough to be a determining factor for many of the IT leaders who make decisions about app development or hardware purchases, according Wiora. 

The hallmark of Apple's deal with IBM, the first of its current handful of enterprise partnerships, is the MobileFirst for iOS program. Apple and IBM engineers develop apps for specific professions and industries, and their collocated teams collaborate on iteration, design and deployment. Some MobileFirst for iOS apps serve as templates that can be reused and customized by other businesses, but each app is built for a specific task. Among the most rapidly adopted software are apps for financial advisors, retail store associates, flight attendants and the hospitality industry, according to Apple.

Apple's partnership with SAP is designed to yield native iOS apps that integrate with SAP systems, as well as an SDK that will let developers tap into SAP's HANA cloud platform. Cisco Systems and Apple are working to integrate an updated version of Cisco's networking protocols into iOS, so Cisco Wi-Fi routers can prioritize enterprise traffic on corporate iOS devices. Finally, Deloitte created an Apple-focused consultancy with a dedicated team of more than 5,000 advisors, to help its business customers with iOS devices improve operations in retail, field services, recruiting, research and development, supply chain management and back-office systems. 

 

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