Why IT Support Hate Macs


IBM Report Promotes Use of Mac Devices

The last decade or so has seen incredible transformations in the world of digital technology. As well as the evolution of phones that are now used as cameras, music players, maps and video conferencing devices, we have seen computers get radically smaller so they are now able to fit on your wrist or on the lens of your eyewear.

The war between the two tech giants Microsoft and Apple has seen the latter gain some exceptional ground in recent times but it is now IT support technicians that have an axe to grind with them.

IBM Report

At the JAMF Nation User Conference, a report from IBM revealed that only 5% of their internal Mac users require helpdesk support, in comparison to 40% of PC users. IBM has been rolling out Mac hardware since June of this year and are currently deploying 1,900 Macs per week, making a total of 130,000 iOS and Mac devices in the company.

Users are not even in the habit of calling IT support to assist them in the initial setup of a Mac computer. Typically, employees receive a new shrink-wrapped Mac and following the setup instructions in the Apple Device’s Enrolment Program, along with the JAMF Software Casper Suite, users can quickly and easily install pre-approved apps and software by themselves.

Macs Are Saving Money

Although the initial outlay to purchase a Mac is higher than the cost of a PC, IBM recognise that they’re actually saving money by using Macs across their organisation. This is due to the reduced need for IT support, as in fact IBM only dedicates 24 helpdesk users to support their entire range of Mac devices. As Fletcher Previn, Vice-President of Workplace-as-a-Service at IBM states “Every Mac that we buy is making and saving us money.”

Will Macs Support Your Existing Business Software?

In the past, the argument that IT support staff have put against migrating systems to Mac devices, was that there would be considerable compatibility issues and that Mac computers may not be able to successfully host the existing business applications that are essential to your daily operations. However, organisations are already starting to see the benefit in deploying their applications from the cloud or using SaaS (software as a service) which can then be accessed by BYOD (bring your own device), so in reality there are very few apps that aren’t operational on a Mac.

Is the End Nigh for IT Support Staff?

Even the most positive-spirited IT helpdesk staff cannot help to be concerned about this recent story. The fact that it comes from a major organisation such as IBM really helps to hammer the point home to those considering the move to Mac devices.

It won’t be long before many businesses really assess the expense of their current IT processes and systems and follow others in their industry into a more cost-effective technology approach, such as the cloud. This may leave some IT staff at a loose end, or it may simply free up their time which can be utilised to think creatively for the good of their company. Google staff are famously encouraged to spend 20% of the working day on their own projects, which they believe will benefit the company.

Time will tell if this is a policy that becomes the norm in IT departments on a global scale, however, with Windows now providing a fere operating system in the form of Windows 10, it is hard to see why businesses will migrant en masse to a Mac operating system.

About the Author

Dave Wilding is a Microsoft Small Business Specialist at Shadowfax. He has specialisms in Microsoft, Cisco, NetApp & Citrix technologies.

Photo credit: Nikita Lykov

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