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MacIT conference puts enterprise shine on Apple platforms

iOS, Mac mobility a major theme for Macworld spinoff

By , Network World
January 20, 2012 10:05 AM ET

Network World - Apple's presence has exploded in the enterprise, thanks to fast and wide adoption of iPhones and iPads. The annual Macworld|iWorld show in San Francisco next week for the first time is offering a separate conference, MacIT, dedicated to this unlikely success.

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Over the past decade, Macworld has treated enterprise Apple deployments as one track or theme of presentations in the conference. This year, MacIT will run at the same time and location, the Moscone conference center, but have its own conference sessions, venue and vendor exhibition space.

Macworld itself has been renamed "Macworld|iWorld," to reflect the rise of Apple's mobile OS and the devices that use it. Both events are run by IDG World Expo, a unit of IDG Communications, the parent of Network World.

"Enterprise professionals can now access MacIT's technical agenda without having to navigate through the more general Mac and iPhone 'how tos' that we offer in the Macworld|iWorld event," says Paul Kent, general manager for the conference.

Over three days, starting Thursday, Jan. 26, MacIt will offer attendees nearly 40 sessions, presented by a mix of IT professionals overseeing Apple deployments, consultants working directly with enterprises on such projects and vendors targeting this market. The conference is expecting 400-500 MacIT attendees, about a 60% increase over 2011.

Sessions include a variety of end user case studies, plus a focus on digital certificates for Apple clients, Apple tools for iOS 5 deployment and management, remote and virtual desktops, deep dives into OS X Lion and Lion Server and tips on large-scale OS X and iOS deployments.

Though Apple has been setting Mac sales records, its real enterprise success in the past few years has been via its iOS mobile platform. And the MacIT conference's main themes this year reflect that, according to Kent, who points out a focus on topics such as mobile device management, mobile security, best practices in device deployment and enterprise mobile app development.

"In my experience, Apple has been experiencing greater penetration into the enterprise, and that penetration has been largely driven by iOS devices, iPhones and iPads primarily," says Benjamin Levy, principal with Solutions Consulting, a Los Angeles-based IT consultancy. "The iPhone and iPad are the best current implementations in their respective markets and it's impossible to tell a C-level executive that she or he can't use the device that gives them the best user experience and works within their existing infrastructure. The traditional arguments about an inability to manage the assets no longer hold water and previous IT department intransigence isn't being tolerated."

Levy is part of a MacIT panel talking about "Putting Business First, Technology Second," which looks at the issues of technology management to meet business needs, focusing on iOS-based mobile deployments.

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