Apple - The Nanny

We’ve defined four different IT personality profiles: The Accountant, The Butler, The Nanny and the Agent. Each one varies based on how much focus they put on understanding the business and how important user satisfaction is to them.

This changes everything. Again. 

Apple as been a dominant drive in the tech sector for over ten years now, crushing competitors with their phones, tablets and computers. They've been able to take what was once generic "beige" components and turn them into objects of desire for more than just tech people.

Service orientation

Apple is not know for their great customer service. Yes they have great looking stores and cool salespeople and "geniuses" to help you with your computer problems, but getting access to these can take quite a while. And they are not known for their easy replacement policy either. Often, ou will have to live without your computers for days before it is fixed.

They also are not very open with their roadmaps. You never know what the next iPhone will look like how the next iMac will perform. The two thousand dollars you just spent on a Macbook might very well be worthless in six months with a newer model that changes everything, again.

Business orientation

Apple seems to know what people want before they want it. They've focused a lot of their differentiation on product design, making their product not only very different in appearance but by stretching the limits of the materials and components to make devices that are lighter, smaller and of course more expensive.

They also put a lot of their energy in making things simple for their users. Most of their equipment and software are fairly intuitive, easy to learn and use. Their applications tend to mimic real-word objects and contain only the minimum of buttons and components. Apple designs shine by what's missing just as much as by what's there.

This strong understanding of what people want in a tech device (ease of sue, status symbol. etc) has allowed them to create entirely new demands and dominate their markets.

Why being a Nanny works for Apple

Apples' sole differentiation is through design. They create little work of arts that people want to own, use and be seen with. They are becoming status symbols. They're focus on good design allows them not only to meet customer demands, but to create new demands altogether.

Being an Nanny

How does this apply to IT departments?

First, Apple knows a lot more about design than we all do. Nannies tend to also now w lot more about the business than their users. Understanding what drives the business and how it will evolve allows the Nanny to be one-step ahead of everyone.

Also, Apple is very selective in its design. Few options and fewer components. Nannies tend to limit the choices of their users by providing them what they need and only what they need. This prevents duplication of resources but also keeps everyone playing in the same sandbox.

Finally, Apple keeps things very simple. Nannies tend to remove all the functionalities and components that are not required by a user. This makes applications and systems much easier to learn but also reduces support calls by limiting possible causes of errors.


  • Apple satisfies us by understanding that our real need is not tech but something else (novelty, status symbol. etc)
  • Nannies limit options to keep things simple
  • Nannies tend to know more about the marketplace than their users
Posted on October 18, 2013 and filed under ISP3.