Forrester: Time for IT to support Macs

Though many business IT environments remain Windows-only, some experts say it’s time to start supporting Macs – partly because employees are using them anyway.

That’s the gist of a recent report published by tech research firm Forrester. The report states that users are getting around IT’s Mac prohibition by sneaking in their Apple laptops from home.

While that can cause problems for IT support, Forrester says, the fact of the matter is that users are bringing in their Macs because they find them easier to use, and are therefore making themselves more productive.

That’s why it’s time to consider formal Mac support, says David Johnson, the author of the study.

Fortunately for businesses that are or will start supporting Macs, Apple has made it easier for IT to manage their machines. As reported in a recent InfoWorld story, Macs can now be integrated with Active Directory to make management easier.

New deployment and patch management tools from Apple have also decreased the burden of supporting Macs in the IT department.

Does your organization support Macs? How have you handled the challenge of supporting multiple platforms? Let us know in the comments section below.

  • THis is happening where I work and there have been problems, particularly with using the mail server, which is still Exchange 2003. Hopefully we’ll have it worked out by the end of the year. What bugs me most is I can’t support these people. Most of them are superb Mac users, but one is not. I would certainly like advice on where to get training for support people who know nothing about Macs.

  • Jack Elder

    If anyone brings in a personal computer into my IT environment they will be written up for violating security policy regardless of manufacturer.

  • Walt

    We don’t support Macs, and have no plans to support macs. There is no business reason to use a mac vs a PC. Macs are NOT easier to use, and they are NOT more productive. Macs cost more to buy, and to maintain. They are not open, which does not allow for healthy competition to keep prices down. Managing two platforms requires more time and money. Macs are not impervious to viruses. I have talked to other locations of ours which have had just as many viruses on their Macs as on their Windows PC’s, and they have fewer Macs. I personally prefer to run Linux on my own desktop, but choose to run Windows as our desktop standard because of it’s flexibility in management, and it’s openness as a platform. Macs don’t even come close.

  • David McGavock

    Whether an organization chooses Mac or Windows, the most cost effective approach is to choose a standard platform. That is a no brainer. Making exceptions to a chosen OS will have it’s costs. Sam seems to be saying that the benefits (employee motivation and productivity) is worth the cost (more / different tech support). My department has been supporting thousands of Macs for years now. I don’t buy the idea that they are more expensive to manage. It’s just different. We are geared up to support them. I have to adjust when people insist on using Windows. I don’t like it. It costs me time and money but I’ve adjusted to the reality.

  • Dan

    Well said Walt. Well said.

  • Jon

    A couple of points:
    There are no Mac viruses. Zero. Zip. Nada. I don’t know where you are getting information that indicates that there are as many Mac viruses as PC viruses.
    The most effective approach to a computer platform in an organization is one where the workers are most effective. The computer platform is irrelevant. You can certainly handle two operating systems, you are already handling two, probably three Windows OSs along with your data phones and all of their eccentricities, servers, etc.

  • Walt=Retard

    There are NO viruses for Mac.

    Walt : “I have talked to other locations of ours which have had just as many viruses on their Macs as on their Windows PC’s, and they have fewer Macs”

    LMAOOOO thats funny!

    Walt: “Macs cost more to buy, and to maintain”.

    Correct Short term buying a Mac is more expensive but long term its wayyy cheaper. Ive switched 8 clients from PC’s all to MAC’s and guess what only calls i get now are printer issues.

  • Marlon

    Walt’s ignorance of the Mac platform is really showing. I’m surprised he’s uses Linux on his own personal desktop. I wonder if he knows that OS X and Linux are posix operating systems. I wonder if he anything outside of what Microsoft tells him?

  • anthony

    gimme a break, macs make up 5% of the business market, but rabid apple fanboys make up 95% of these asinine comments on the web. you kids need to grow up, i dont care what toy you were taught on in elementary or your hippie art class.

    i take 6 certifications a year to support the PC on top of my MCDST, and now im supposed to support a piece of junk a toy like the mac i better get more than my current $48 an hour if i have to…no thanks!