InfoWorld CTO: ‘we really do support and embrace Macs’

“If I learned anything from the feedback for my last column, it’s that Mac loyalists remain a passionate bunch. The e-mails I received had my head spinning faster than Fast User Switching in OS X. Clearly, the response would have been kinder if I had just been unmasked as a serial killer. I received generous helpings of ‘idiot’ and ‘dolt’ sprinkled with a ‘callous ineptitude’ here and there — all because I wrote about my warning to a new salesperson that he wasn’t going to get support for being the Lone Ranger of Macs in his PC-only department,” Chad Dickerson writes for InfoWorld.

“Despite the overzealous headline my editor placed above my column (Want a Mac? You’re on your own), which suggested that Macs were not supported at all at InfoWorld, I want to assure you that Macs are embraced and supported at InfoWorld in key areas. I suspect that InfoWorld is reasonably typical in that approximately 20 percent of our environment consists of Macs,” Dickerson writes. “As I’ve noted before, I love Macs, but I think Mac proponents need to rein in the blind passion to avoid offering problematic solutions in the name of Mac purity… When a PC-only app is absolutely critical, give that person a PC.

Dickerson writes, “Others said that if I more fully embraced open standards — the IT version of world peace, and who doesn’t want that? — I wouldn’t have to deal with the platform problem at all. Unfortunately, the reality of corporate IT intrudes. InfoWorld is more than 25 years old, and we are part of a larger global company that is nearly 40 years old. I am constantly pushing toward open standards with all our key systems; but we are still working with a few aggravating proprietary systems, and there is no magic wand to wipe them away immediately.”

Full article here.

Related MacDailyNews articles:
InfoWorld CTO ‘can’t afford to spend time supporting Macs’ – March 24, 2005

20 Comments

  1. Nice try to cover up… but if your CTO still really believes that… he’s a slave to the ultimate bargaining chip – money. If we had Macs in our company, we’d lay off IT people, and IT managers – and we can’t have layoffs now can we? MS keeps us busy, and paid.

    thank god i’m in IT in a small building in our company, I use my PowerBook. haha

  2. Audioboy, Chad did do quite a bit of back-peddling… he actually does appreciate the platform.

    As for getting rid of IT departments, I don’t think so. I am an IT Director and although I do see your point, and actually agree to a certain extent, let’s not get carried away. IT is transforming in light of the commoditization on all platforms. There are quite a few in IT management that see our roles shifting from merely implementation and support, to a department that aids in strategic value, aligns business goals and adds value to the enterprise in a number of different ways.

    If I could go 100% Mac today, I would do it in a heartbeat.

    Here are the 2 biggies why every IT Dept holds on to Microslob Winblows:
    1. The main ERP/CRM/whatever application that has become part of the business process and corporate culture is stuck in the windows world. The check writers see no value in proposing a switch. “Everything works just fine” is the mantra… Let’s face it, we get paid salary… if we work 40 hours, or 80 hours cleaning up malware, viruses, and the like, no one cares.

    2. The same users have spent 5 years learning Winblows, and still can barely pull off the basics. If we had to retrain them, it would crush us.

  3. The only way to make inroads into Wintel dominance is to push against the barriers – the Windows-only software and IE-required web sites – by actively promoting open systems solutions. In some cases the Mac solution (alternative) is actually available, but has simply not been implemented (e.g., Mac version of AED training software is available from the vendor, but not provided by my organization).

    Constructive change generally occurs as the result of actions by motivated people. The status quo approach simply replaces the current solution (Windows) with a more modern version (Windows 200X).

  4. Well put KingMel. I agree whole-heartedly.

    I cannot speak for every IT org, but in my case, we need buy in from the top. This requires the value proposition be presented in the proper way.

    Great Values for Mac platform:
    – easier licensing. Anyone who has presented a M$ upgrade is well aware of the jaw dropping and confusion when presenting the solution in a budget meeting.
    – security

  5. I agree wholeheartedly. A friend of mine was in the market for a new computer and asked me for advice. When I found out he uses it mainly for playing online poker I told him to get a PC. For the Mac you only have one choice and I knew he would be unhappy with that choice. Not everyone is a Mac person…

  6. I think it’s stupid when users give harsh feedback,because these writers are stating their opinion and shouldn’t be attacked because they think DIFFERENTLY,not in that “differently.It’s making alot of you (not any one person in particular) look like jerks who can get offended about anything.

  7. mrw0lf said,

    “1. The main ERP/CRM/whatever application that has become part of the business process and corporate culture is stuck in the windows world. …”

    Partially true. The big three (or two now), Oracle/PeopleSoft and SAP have embraced lightweight web-based front-ends for their products. The end-user/client platform is now irrelevant. Having a good browser is the only requirement. (Being able to invoke PeopleSoft HRMS on my Powerbook under Safari, Firefox, OmniWeb, et. al was a very pleasant experience.) The downside, however, is that many of the customisation tools are still “hard-wired” to the Redmond environment. Most corporate end users rarely use more then their ERP app, Word/Excel/Powerpoint, and email. Since Office is interoperable across the platforms, the Mini makes an ideal purchase decision. I think the stranglehold that Outlook has in terms of scheduling and email functionality is perhaps a reason many are still hesitant to switch.

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