When many people think about the Mac line of computers, the thought of the systems being on every desk of a typical office do not come to mind. Traditionally, iMacs and MacBooks are considered machines for "hobbies" and creative tasks like video, photo and sound editing. On top of that, the hold that the PC has on the enterprise has led to a complicated relationship.
A recent CITEworld column by Ryan Faas made a case for Macs in the enterprise and dispelled some of the common arguments against doing so. As an IT consultant that has handled Mac integration, he has been on the front line of this topic and offers some interesting ideas. The focus points were:
- Macs are more expensive – While there is truth here, there is a different between the initial cost and the long term costs. It is cheaper to buy PCs at the beginning, the premium hardware in Macs can often make them less costly to maintain over the long run
- Macs don't integrate with enterprise systems – This was a major concern and leading argument a decade ago, but multiple strides have been made on both sides to eliminate this.
- More resources are needed to manage Macs – Again, this was something that was more relevant several years ago, but there are some features that cause this to be true like Active Directory Group Policy.
- Software we need isn't available on Mac – This is another problem that has been fixed with time. Doing enough research, any company will find the software they need or an equivalent system.
- Macs are complicated to roll out – This can be said about any system, and with the right support, both internal or through solution providers, can make this better.
The final argument speaks to the initial point about Apple being used for creative tasks – "Apple doesn't understand or support enterprise organizations." Faas calls this "nonsense."
Not only does the company understand the enterprise, it is actively seeking to improve its stance there. According to an article from Channel Web, the company has been hinting at an increased focus on the enterprise as of late.
In a recent earnings call, booming Mac sales were reported, despite overall PC sales being down. The company touted the enterprise segment for this increase in sales and noted that selling to businesses has "huge potential." However, CEO Tim Cook, said there is still along way to go.
With the help of an IT consulting firm that specializes in Apple programs, hardware and repairs, any business can easily take steps to become a Mac-based business.