Small enterprise, home office should migrate completely to Mac to save money, increase security

Winn Schwartau asks for NetworkWorld, are Macs really more expensive than Windows boxes? Schwartau writes, “I designed a total cost of ownership (TCO) tool to see whether Apple’s higher prices were justifiable. The criteria that go into a TCO go beyond per-box cost, per-seat operating system and Office licenses, and shipping. The tool will work for any configuration: WinTel, Mac, MacTel, Linux and so on. We included all of the third-party security products needed to keep a WinTel machine somewhat secure and checkbox compliant. We considered the prorated costs of per-user upgrades, patches, relicensing expenses and overhead factor from lawyers, managers and technical staff.”

“The TCO tool considers reliability costs, downtime per user per year, productivity losses/gains, reboots and system maintenance. The enterprise also needs to consider the help desk and other support time/costs per user per PC,” Schwartau writes. “The TCO tool also allows you to calculate the resale value of the computer. It did not take long to discover that Mac’s resale value is much higher than WinTel’s.”

“The results of this TCO astounded me. For my small enterprise, owning a WinTel box for three years costs twice as much as owning a MacTel. When I talked with several of our clients, I found that the burdened cost of ownership per PC – just for support – ranged from $1,300 to $4,000 per year,” Schwartau explains. “Apple’s non-iPod growth is going to need to come from displacing Microsoft’s Vista as the de facto next-generation operating system for enterprise migration. At recent security shows I have seen that more than 50% of my compatriots use Macs and recognize that OS X was a huge leap forward. We are all suggesting some forms of migration. The small enterprise and home office should migrate completely, and some midsize enterprises will take the plunge as what I called the KISS-OS becomes more cemented in the IT zeitgeist… I am seeing large organizations deploying Mac networks across specific departments, and I mean more than just graphics. Entire sales and marketing departments within some financial firms are actively migrating to Mac and MacTel. Gene Fredriksen, chief information security officer for Raymond James Financial, in St. Petersburg, Fla., says he is deploying additional Macs within portions of the enterprise to reduce TCO of user computing.”

Schwartau writes, “Mac migrations in the low tech area of big companies will precede any global shift. Why should a company pay more than $2,000 a year for PC support of a clerk who only uses Web applications when a $500 Mac Mini will do?”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Wingsy” for the heads up.]

MacDailyNews Take: Our same take from the most recent related article below applies here, too:

Corporate IT “pros” in general have hitched their wagons to Microsoft. Often in the name of vendor “choice,” they defend their decision, even though, in the end, it almost always results in ultimately depending on a sole vendor anyway: Microsoft. In our experience, IT “pros” will employ almost any convoluted logic to defend their choice, even in the face of overwhelming evidence that they made the wrong one. The Mac is more dependable, more secure, last longer, and the end user enjoys using the Mac more than Windows, which means they’re most likely to produce more since they are not fighting the user interface and Windows issues; this makes Mac users more productive than Windows users overall.

IT people have been given the role of “decision makers” when they should not have that power. If CEOs and upper management in many industries want the upper hand over their competitors, they’d be smart to learn about technology, investigate the Mac’s advantages, take back the decision-making power, and make the best technology decisions for their companies. If that means they’ll have to reduce their IT departments because Macs are less prone to trouble, so be it. Obviously, IT “pros” will not decide to move to the Mac platform if it means their staffing levels and power within the organization will be diminished. The open-minded IT person, one who will seriously consider the Apple Mac option, is a rarity in the extreme. Apple will have an uphill battle breaking into corporate environments unless and until the decisions are made by people focused on benefits to the entire company, not by those who are choosing technology that helps bolster their own job security and power.

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Related articles:
Apple takes No. 1 spot in western Europe education; next step: overcome corporate IT ‘mistrust’ – March 05, 2006
Windows to Mac switchers: recommendations and Total Cost of Ownership analysis – September 29, 2005
Switching to Mac after 15 years of Windows, security expert says he’s ‘too stupid to use Macs’ – September 06, 2005
16-percent of computer users are unaffected by viruses, malware because they use Apple Macs – June 15, 2005
Security expert sums up first month with Mac: ‘much safer, more secure, more productive than Wintel’ – June 02, 2005
Windows PC security company’s switch to Apple Mac causes overwhelming reaction – May 28, 2005
Mad as hell Windows PC security company finally just gives up, switches to Apple Mac OS X – May 25, 2005


  1. The only thing that keeps companies from jumping onto macs in the server area is due to the lack of Hard drives and Power supplies on the Xserves. Like any IT admin, I want the ability to have more than 3 drives, and to have them in a Raid 5 with hot spares. Xserve doesn’t give that ability due to only 3 drives. The other is the one power supply, where with Dell I can get two incase one fails, the server doesn’t go down, and I can swap it out the bad one for a good one with no down time. Apple needs to give more choice when it comes to their server hardware. This is the one big reason why most companies don’t have Macs on the server end.

  2. I’ve used Macs for the past 14 or so years, Performa 33Mhz Wallstreet $ Edition, Power Mac 233, Lombard Powerbook 233Mhz, 800Mhz G4 iMac 15″. Still getting legs out of the iMac after 4+ years with only maxing out to 1GB RAM.

    The only time I ever had a hardware failure was the logic board of the Lombard Powerbook. 1 Component in 14 years…. I’ll pay a ‘premium’ for hardware like that…

    The only issue now is Intel iMac or MacBook Pro?





  4. As a Corporate IT “pro” I feel my company didn’t make the wrong choice, but in fact the only one available to us. Being a manufacturing facility and R and D facility in the electronics and component industry, we simply had no choice but to use the Win-Tel solution. Do I hate it? Yes, I can’t stand that I have no choice. But all the hardware and software that is required for us to run our business and build our products is all crappy Windows based. Pick and Place Machines, laser markers, Advanced PCB Flow applications, TI emulators, Sync Net, CAN-Open, and all but one software package we use are only Windows based. I would love nothing more than to see my offices and cubicles and shop flood work benches filled with machines running Mac OS X. When Apple and 3rd party developers give me the ability to flush my facility from Microsoft Windows entirely, I will do so in a heartbeat.

    Yes I am writing this on the only Mac in the building. The one I, the IT “pro,” use as my main computer. Go figure.

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