Security concerns could help Apple's enterprise adoption

BusinessWeek's Arik Hesseldahl chronicles the horror of HP CEO Mark Hurd over a financial analyst who was using a Mac Book Pro at HP's analyst meeting.Hesseldahl spends much of his post talking about how the analyst could access all of her applications and didn't need Windows.

BusinessWeek's Arik Hesseldahl chronicles the horror of HP CEO Mark Hurd over a financial analyst who was using a Mac Book Pro at HP's analyst meeting.

Hesseldahl spends much of his post talking about how the analyst could access all of her applications and didn't need Windows. We knew all that already though.

What's interesting is the analyst's response to Hurd when he asked why she didn't have an HP notebook. Her reply: She has nothing against HP and the hardware companies, but she views Windows as a security risk.

Enter Apple, who may have more enterprise chops than we realize. Sure you can argue that Apple's security woes will increase, but here's an analyst that bucked the Microsoft monoculture over security.

Meanwhile, the idea of bucking the monoculture is at least gaining in popularity. See this talkback in response to George Ou's "Is MS Office becoming a zero-day liability all year long?"

ALL MS Software is a HUGE LIABILITY

    It's just the facts. Which is the reason why a heterogeneous environment makes the most sense and companies that "standardize" on Windows are making HUGE mistakes...

Now it's doubtful that security will tip the scales away from standardizing for CIOs, but if Apple gets any traction in the enterprise security is going to be a big reason. Toss in the fact Macs can boot Windows XP if needed and run versions of most critical apps and you could project some enterprise interest.

So why is it doubtful enterprises will bite? When you are comparing the returns of standardization versus security it's an unfair fight. On the one hand, standardization means less labor because you have fewer systems to support. Labor costs are easy quantify. Doing something for security's sake is a more murky calculation because you're forced to guess a worst case scenario and then quantify it in dollars.

Security in IT is like life insurance--you don't appreciate it until you really need it.

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