Is your enterprise suffering from Apple neglect?

With nearly three-quarters (72%) of the enterprise market, Apple’s iOS mobile operating system is the undisputed king of workplace mobility. But the king does not treat its subjects equally, some complain.

“Unless they commit to buying 10,000 iPads or other Apple devices,”’s Matt Kapko writes, “enterprises are essentially on their own when it comes to support, according to a group of IT executives who spoke at this week’s MacIT Conference in Santa Clara, Calif. All of the CIOs said they hope Apple will do more to embrace the needs of small-to-midsize businesses … but none are holding their breath.”

For now, smaller businesses — that is, the sub-10,000 iPad crowd — must resort to getting support from Apple store employees. And while these folks typically are helpful and knowledgeable, it’s understandably frustrating for a CIO of an enterprise with, say 2,500 iPhones and iPads in the hands of employees, to rely on what really is a service designed for consumers. As Kapko writes, “While CIOs can sometimes solve support problems with Apple Store, the process is time consuming. And email and phone calls just don’t provide the level of support that most IT professionals need.”

Granted, Apple’s partnership with IBM to develop enterprise apps should benefit enterprises of all sizes once they begin rolling out, but again, will SMBs be facing yet another situation where they have to figure it out on their own? Or will Big Blue provide the kind of support that enterprises of all sizes need to deploy and protect mobile apps being accessed by iOS devices?

We’ll see, but old habits die hard. Debra Jensen, CIO at retail clothing chain Charlotte Russe, tells Kapko, “Apple is so used to consumers, or they don’t care [about the enterprise], because they don’t have to. They’re thinking the consumers that then come to work for you will push so hard that you’ll end up going down that path.”

Apple’s thinking has been 100% correct in that regard, but its lack of support for enterprises of all sizes makes life tougher on IT pros for companies not listed in the Fortune 500. And that consumer-first approach isn’t likely to change anytime soon.

How does your enterprise get support for Apple devices? And is it making your job harder?

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