IT's Apple problem is not Apple's problem

Even today, IT managers complain that Apple won't give it a three-year plan. No wonder Apple ignores IT

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Google gives no plan and shares zilch with customers until -- in some cases -- the release date of Android, Google Apps, and the like. is the same, as is any company dealing with cloud-based user technology. They have to be. What they (Apple included) do instead is deprecate technologies they plan on removing; instead of a very early notice that something new is coming, you get early warning that it's leaving. IT should be grateful for such a policy.

These vendors make a point of using common APIs and standards that allow them to update and add functionality without breaking their own wares. IT needs to learn to do the same. Change happens -- a lot.

Ironically, it's Apple that has done the most to satisfy IT concerns of all the mobile vendors, so this notion that Apple owes IT something special when it comes to the its products seems misplaced. It's a complaint I hear trotted out every few years, and it smells of someone stuck in the past who just can't accept that today is different. For a prime example of clueless, Neanderthal IT thinking when it comes to the Mac, the most egregious example I've seen in years appeared just this week. It's a marvel in Stone Age thinking and falsehoods. I'll be happy to lend this guy my DOS disks.

A better criticism of Apple would be one I've also been hearing: The company has hired a slew of enterprise salespeople who are clueless about the enterprise, embarrassing Apple and reconfirming old IT stereotypes about the company that has invaded businesses with the iPad, iPhone, and MacBook Air. Apple shouldn't be as uninformed about the enterprise as the enterprise is about Apple.

The real issue here is of course control. This CIO thinks he has control over the user technology in his company. He doesn't -- if he ever had it, it's already gone. By expecting the technology world to slow down for his local needs, he shows he doesn't get it.

Technology moves fast. IT's job now is to avoid creating local dependencies on specific versions, so the vast sea of change across the provider landscape has minimal repercussions. In this case, IT needs to follow or get out of the way.

The last thing we need is Apple or any other tech vendor becoming as sclerotic as so many IT organizations have become. The problem is in IT, not at Apple or any other user-oriented tech company.

This article, "IT's Apple problem is not Apple's problem," was originally published at Read more of Galen Gruman's Smart User blog at For the latest business technology news, follow on Twitter.

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