The biggest consumer technology companies are taking over the enterprise realm.
On Monday, Apple announced a partnership with networking giant Cisco to tightly integrate iPhones and iPads into the fabric of the workplace. A year ago, IBM said it was starting to build apps for Apple gadgets, along with enterprise heavy tools like device management and security.
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We've been hearing for years about the consumerization of the enterprise, referring to the way business technology is adapting the simpler interfaces and social functions that consumers use while at home and on the move. The most valuable enterprise technology companies, saddled with legacy products and struggling to find growth, are recognizing they need help from Apple, which clearly knows how to make products that people love.
The dynamic is changing the enterprise IT market, which Gartner estimates will be $3.5 trillion in spending this year.
"Companies like Apple, Amazon and Google bring ease-of-use enterprise deployments," said Amit Daryanani, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets. "IBM and Cisco don't care what consumers use. They just want to provide the backbone."
Daryanani has a "buy" rating on Apple and a "hold" on IBM.