Forrester: 'It's time to repeal prohibition' on Macs in the enterprise

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
Mac business users have been shown to be more productive than their PC counterparts, prompting Forrester Research to encourage companies to support Apple hardware in the workplace.



Reversing a long-held stance against embracing the Mac in the enterprise, Forrester issued a new report on Thursday encouraging companies to take "decisive action" and support Mac use in the corporate world.



The report, authored by David K. Johnson and provided to AppleInsider, is available for sale from Forrester. Entitled "People are Bringing Macs to Work -- It's Time to Repeal Prohibition," it reveals that Mac use in the enterprise is increasing, even though 41 percent of firms polled said they don't officially allow Mac use.



Forrester spoke with a number of companies who revealed that a "gray market" for Mac users has formed within their ranks. These employees share tips and strategies on how to use a Mac at work and bypass "corporate roadblocks."



Running with the prohibition theme, Johnson argues that Apple's retail Genius Bars are a modern-day speakeasy. Through Apple's support personnel and online forums, users continue to find ways to bypass company restrictions and use their Mac at work.



But because MacBook laptops from Apple tend to be more reliable and require less maintenance than their PC counterparts, Johnson said that Mac users are more productive in the workplace. Using a computer with Apple's high-end, premium components allows a device to perform well for longer, and the Mac OS X operating system is less susceptible to viruses and malware, which means workers waste less time trying to fix their machine.



Included in the report are a number of tips for IT professionals on how to best integrate Macs into an existing corporate network. Defining Mac users as "HEROes," or "highly empowered and resourceful operatives," Johnson believes that Mac users should be enabled rather than hindered.







Despite the evidence that formal corporate support for the Mac platform is not growing, Apple's sales in the enterprise have seen a huge spike in 2011. For example, in May Apple revealed that corporate mac sales grew by 66 percent, representing a significant turnaround for Apple.



The enterprise growth is noteworthy because between 2007 and 2009, Mac sales to businesses were stagnant, even as Mac sales to consumers were taking off. But over the last few years, Apple's figures have shown huge growth for the Mac in the enterprise.



And Apple has also made even greater inroads with its iOS line of devices. The company revealed this month that 93 percent of Fortune 500 companies are deploying or testing the iPhone, while 90 percent are doing the same for the iPad.



Bolstered by the "halo effect" of the iPhone, Mac sales are now bigger than they have ever been for Apple. Earlier this month, the company reported sales of 4.85 million Macs in a single quarter, representing the best three-month span in the company's entire history.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 123
    asciiascii Posts: 5,936member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Mac business users have been shown to be more productive than their PC counterparts, prompting Forrester Research to encourage companies to support Apple hardware in the workplace.



    Is that the real reason, or is it that the maverick CEO who makes businessmen nervous is now gone? In other words they think Apple is entering a "boring" phase.
  • Reply 2 of 123
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ascii View Post


    Is that the real reason, or is it that the maverick CEO who makes businessmen nervous is now gone? In other words they think Apple is entering a "boring" phase.



    No, that's the reason. And being afraid of the "maverick CEO" who brought a company that was 90 days from bankruptcy to the most valuable company on the planet is the stupidest thing any other company could do.



    Maybe–JUST MAYBE–how Steve ran things WASN'T a fluke and other companies could take a page or two out of his book (literally, since he has a biography now) and get their crap together better through his teaching.
  • Reply 3 of 123
    crees!crees! Posts: 501member
    Yep. "Not allowed to connect a Mac to the corporate network." I.e., no network access therefore you cannot be productive, period.
  • Reply 4 of 123
    When my PC was due for a refresh earlier this year, I asked for a Mac. The purchasing folks laughed. But, I'll bet that 2 years from now when it's time for a new machine, I'll get a Mac.
  • Reply 5 of 123
    I can only speak from my own experience but, as a former computer teacher and informal IT guy, the Mac's focus on making everyday tasks easier is a godsend to most people. What do most workers complain about?

    -I can't get on the Internet

    -I can't print

    -How do I send this file?

    -I don't remember where I saved it.

    -How can I get photos onto this?



    Meanwhile, the snooty IT guys roll their eyes. What we tech-enthusiasts take for granted are hard things for a lot of otherwise smart folks. If you can make the computer fun and easy to use, it will actually encourage people to learn more about their own system. They say, "Oh, that's kind of neat!" instead of, "Dammit, why won't you just work?!" Getting rid of these low-level stumbling blocks should free up your IT Department to actually solve the hard stuff. And let's be honest, they're sitting around playing on the Internet half the day anyway. They say they're swamped, but that's only cause they're traveling from place to place installing drivers...
  • Reply 6 of 123
    Anybody ever try explaining to a iPhone-with-Windows user all the things you can do between iOS and Mac OS X.



    Me: "Oh yeah, I can sync all my calendars, emails, practically everything to my iPhone with little to no effort. Mail app is like email from the gods. Also, I can do practically anything with a PDF. And the apps you can use with iCal and everything else are so incredibly useful."



    iPhone-with-Windows user: "Gee that's cool. What version of Outlook do you need to do that? Have you played that game... Angry Birds. It sure is swell."
  • Reply 7 of 123
    There is a dramatic shift that needs to take place in messaging before the Mac is really a suitable replacement for Windows. Accounting and time tracking are a close second. But, from a hardware perspective and OS reliability, the Mac is fantastic. You just are stuck with the extra layer of Parallels or Fusion to run a few business-critical applications still.
  • Reply 8 of 123
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 3,378member
    I love reading this.



    I had to fight very, very hard to be allowed to use a Mac at work (which I paid for myself). Some people might be surprised by the amount of flat out lies our IT staff told to management in their efforts to stop me (they actually had the gall to argue that Macs were a virus threat -- and that from an IT group that still has its PCs running Windows XP).



    There was no single factor that allowed me to win my fight -- it was a combination of things. But one thing that has to have helped is that the CEO and several senior VPs all have Macs at home and come to me for support. I think the anti-Mac trolls in IT are an endangered species.
  • Reply 9 of 123
    Think about the massive outlay ( $$$ ) of licensing for Windows, Office, and of course, the requisite security package (McAfee, etc) for each machine throughout the Federal Government (from the Executive branch through nearly every department, i.e., DoD, State, Treasury, DHS, Energy, Transportation, etc, etc, etc). It seems like a no-brainer to switch to Mac.



    Then again, it seems like a no-brainer that we should have a balanced budget...
  • Reply 10 of 123
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,778member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Blastdoor View Post


    I love reading this.



    I had to fight very, very hard to be allowed to use a Mac at work (which I paid for myself). Some people might be surprised by the amount of flat out lies our IT staff told to management in their efforts to stop me (they actually had the gall to argue that Macs were a virus threat -- and that from an IT group that still has its PCs running Windows XP).



    There was no single factor that allowed me to win my fight -- it was a combination of things. But one thing that has to have helped is that the CEO and several senior VPs all have Macs at home and come to me for support. I think the anti-Mac trolls in IT are an endangered species.



    Amen to your last sentence.
  • Reply 11 of 123
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 10,557member
    You mean all the high school graduates who got their MCSE certificates from Sandford-Brown and now claim to be IT "professionals" will have to support Macs? Really? Is that even possible?
  • Reply 12 of 123
    Our company is convinced that the Mac is the best tool for developers. We are in the process of replacing aging Dell Precision workstations with high-end iMacs and MacBooks. These machines can still run Windows in Boot Camp, but we can also use Mac OS X to develop apps that target the Mac, the iPhone and the iPad. Our company tends to lag behind the rest of the industry, so this must be happening all over by now. I couldn't be more happy!
  • Reply 13 of 123
    bertpbertp Posts: 274member
    A very interesting story; what comes to my mind is the question of just how much influence does Forester Research have among IT management or corporate COOs? Since IT organizations are top-down organizations, any influence on management could be a significant breakthrough for Apple.



    Viewing this from a customer's point-of-view, I hope Apple never becomes entrapped in supporting corporate legacy hardware and software. Keep the innovation alive!



    You often read stories of how IT is saying, "Apple must meet our requirements," in order to get their business. I hope Apple avoids that lure.
  • Reply 14 of 123
    red oakred oak Posts: 1,097member
    There has been a stampede at my office to Macs. In a 300 person division, I'd say Macs account for 30% now, up from nothing 3 years ago. For new computer installs, it's running at 60% share. This trend is happening at my friends' companies as well



    Microsoft is so smug still. But I think we are going to hit a tipping point where total Mac share in the US spike to 20-25%. I would not be surprised if Apple share at colleges is over 50%. The odds increase I believe if MS Mobile and Tablets fail
  • Reply 15 of 123
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TEAMSWITCHER View Post


    Our company is convinced that the Mac is the best tool for developers. We are in the process of replacing aging Dell Precision workstations with high-end iMacs and MacBooks. These machines can still run Windows in Boot Camp, but we can also use Mac OS X to develop apps that target the Mac, the iPhone and the iPad. Our company tends to lag behind the rest of the industry, so this must be happening all over by now. I couldn't be more happy!



    Good to hear there's hope, I think we'll be the last ones in the world to switch. Apple phobia's alive and well in my office and is the biggest frustration I have with my job. We won't even consider iPads for the simple reason that it has an apple logo on the back. Wouldn't want to set a precedent that we're actually evolving. As soon as Acer comes out with tablets along side their ghetto-books, you can bet we'll jump on them though. Year after year we spend thousands on junk and spend so much time dealing with rudamentary issues a result, keeping us from being able to offer high end support. What a waste.
  • Reply 16 of 123
    sockrolidsockrolid Posts: 2,789member
    Macs have lower total cost of ownership. Apple chooses higher-quality components than your average generic PC maker. By spending a tiny bit more on the components, Apple helps Macs last years longer than PCs.



    And Macs can also run Windows. If you really must.
  • Reply 17 of 123
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Blastdoor View Post


    I love reading this.



    I had to fight very, very hard to be allowed to use a Mac at work (which I paid for myself). Some people might be surprised by the amount of flat out lies our IT staff told to management in their efforts to stop me (they actually had the gall to argue that Macs were a virus threat -- and that from an IT group that still has its PCs running Windows XP).



    There was no single factor that allowed me to win my fight -- it was a combination of things. But one thing that has to have helped is that the CEO and several senior VPs all have Macs at home and come to me for support. I think the anti-Mac trolls in IT are an endangered species.



    There are many in IT that refuse to learn anything new. They often use bullying tactics so they don't need to stay on the cutting edge. Eventually the switch kicking and screaming or they are replaced. It could be switching from Mainframes, Novell, or even from an older version of windows... it is all the same.
  • Reply 18 of 123
    ikolikol Posts: 369member
    Sadly this would eliminate thousands of IT jobs if implemented. But that would be an great incentive for any company to transition over to Mac- cut payroll costs.
  • Reply 19 of 123
    IT Guy here...



    The reason we don't like to work with Macs in the enterprise is because Apple doesn't give a sh!t about enterprise compatibility. What I mean is, Apple does not integrate well with the main infrastructure that is already prevelant in all companies. I don't think Mac users will be that productive when they have to wait up to 5min to login (AD Plugin bug that didn't get fixed until 10.6.8) or when they have to wait up to 30 secs for a network folder's files to show up (bug in 10.6, still in 10.7).



    Mac's will enter the enterprise when Apple decides to play nice with other company's products. Which is never.



    EDIT:

    Before I get cast as "anti-Apple", I run a hybrid windows/mac network with an XServe Snow leopard server, 70 macbooks, 56 ipads, 5 imacs, 70 PCs. I have apple certifications and Microsoft certifications.

    I also have every iDevice, a MBP, AppleTV and will try anything else that comes out of Apple.
  • Reply 20 of 123
    My company's IT department just blocked iCloud access for being an "IT Security Risk". I doubt Macs will be making headway here anytime soon.
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