When it comes to technology, CXOs are a different breed. They value reliability and ease of use above all else, and few C-level executives are willing to sacrifice those qualities for the sake of brand loyalty.
For example, a recent report on notebooks by Frost & Sullivan finds that CXOs do favor a few brands specifically because of their perceived reliability and ease of use. Dell easily outranks all other brands by a margin of more than three times its closest competitor, Hewlett-Packard, according to the report. But what’s interesting is the brand that ranks the third highest of laptops owned by C-level executives: Apple.
Yes Apple, the darling of the consumer space has infiltrated the enterprise, despite its best efforts to remain the outsider. For years, Apple has made overtures that it wanted to stay out of the business market, happily content instead to grace the desks of creative types, hipsters and teenagers. Its lack of channel program and enterprise support was proof.
Apple, it seems, is the reluctant prom king in the CXO office. In fact, the Frost & Sullivan report points out that while Dell is the most widely used brand, Apple is perceived as the No. 1 brand of laptop on the market, with 43 percent of respondents choosing Apple and 23 percent choosing Dell.
And it’s no wonder. The party line when choosing an Apple machine is that it’s more intuitive, more secure and just plain easier to use, and CXOs are saying the same things. Among the comments about Apple’s laptops from respondents: “Apple’s OS is more stable than Windows,” “It just WORKS! You never have to mess with software issues,” and “Quality: Never a software or hardware issue… ever on any of my Apple products.”
Maybe Apple will take these findings to heart and take a second look at the enterprise. After all, the CXO is the one who sets the technology direction and approves the technology purchases, and they’re already sold on Apple.
On the other hand, maybe ignoring the enterprise is Apple’s best move. That way it can remain aloof and keep its hipness factor intact. Apple has shown time and again it can penetrate a market without selling out. The enterprise may be its greatest market yet.