Apple Mac begins to catch on with corporate IT

“Apple, long a ghost in the corporate-infrastructure mainstream, is beginning to cast a shadow as IT departments discover Mac platforms that are being transformed into realistic alternatives to Windows and Linux,” John Fontana reports for Network World.

Fontana reports, “A number of factors are helping raise the eyebrows of those responsible for upgrading desktops and servers: for example, Apple’s shift to the Intel architecture; the inclusion of infrastructure and interoperability hooks, such as directory services in the Mac OS X Server; dual-boot capabilities; clustering and storage technology; third-party virtualization software; and comparison shopping, which is being fostered by migration costs and hardware overhauls associated with Microsoft’s Vista.”

Fontana reports, “IT shops that have dipped their toes in Apple’s pool of desktop and server platforms say others should test the water. ‘Intel Macs have really changed things. Beyond the obvious comparisons — that Macs are now speed-parity with Wintel machines — vendors have been able to develop more software for the platform, and where that is impossible, virtual machines are always an option,’ says Scott Melendez, manager of enterprise messaging for the city and county of San Francisco, who brought Macs into governmental offices in 2003 and says they are there to stay alongside Windows machines. ‘There will always be a stigma by some old-time network managers — that Macs are difficult to network — from the AppleTalk days, or that they are difficult to support because it’s not Windows. By the end of 2007, however, I think the landscape will have changed.'”

“Others are being drawn in for a peek as they evaluate Microsoft’s Vista client operating system and what it will take to migrate. ‘The changes in Vista are significant enough that we think we can absorb the change going to Macs just as easily as going to Vista,’ says Tom Gonzales, a senior network administrator for the Colorado State Employees Credit Union in Denver. He says the thought of going to Apple is not as scary as it once was. ‘If you had asked me two years ago to consider Macs, I would have laughed. But Boot Camp and Parallels, anything we can’t do with our Macs we would be able to run a Windows environment under there,’ says Gonzales, who is currently in the Mac evaluation stage,” Fontana reports.

Much more in the full article here.

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

Related articles:
New IBM software to help business to offer employees the choice of running Apple Macs – February 12, 2007
Gartner: Growth of Mac desktops in enterprise to hinder Linux more than Windows – January 02, 2007
Computerworld: Enterprise decision-makers should consider migrating to Mac OS X and Apple hardware – December 21, 2006
Apple’s Mac means business – December 18, 2006
Hands on: Parallels Desktop for Mac in a business setting – December 10, 2006
InfoWorld: Apple’s Mac OS X platform deserves good, hard look by enterprise – September 22, 2006
Prejudice keeps Apple Mac out of the enterprise – September 01, 2006
Boot Camp: Apple’s Trojan horse into the enterprise market? – April 05, 2006


  1. I’ve been using Linux on my desktop since 1998 and Mac OS X for the last year and a half. So, I declared my independence from Windows 9 years ago. And I am Corporate environment, and an enterpreneur. I never felt the need to have Microsoft at my business.

    So, other than proprietary application made for Windows (like accounting software or stuff like that), I don’t see any need to keep Windows in the office. And with a Mac now, you can always use Boot Camp or parallels for those really requiring Windows.

  2. This is exciting but there are so many hurdles for Apple to get in the corporate space. To do this Apple will need to:

    – Run Windows apps (Done)
    – Make a real comitment to the corporate space (don’t know if Apple wants this)
    – Start with small biz and work your way up
    – Establish partnerships with enterprise software vendors (IBM, Oracle to name a few)
    – Once some of the above are done then it needs to get into IT curriculums in US universities so tomorrow’s grads get exposure to something other than Windows. If Apple doesn’t address the political side of IT decision making it will never be a strong player in this space.

    Come on Apple you can do it!

  3. This isn’t too terribly surprising. I’ve worked for two large corporations in the last 10 years. Around half of the IT personnel at both used Macs personally and bemoaned having to use Windows at work.

  4. It’s amazing how the IT regime heads feel like if they switch toward Macs that somehow they’re being asked to walk the plank, or potentially walking the plank. Heck, dive in, you’ll never have it better. I’d have thought that the Intel switch, Apple’s enterprise pricing structures, etc. would have had these guys switching in droves much soon.

  5. If Apple doesn’t, at some point, want to get into the enterprise, they are fools. And I don’t believe SJ is a fool. I think they haven’t focused on it in recent years because they didn’t think they could be successful; it would have been a waste of time & resources. That may be changing due to Bootcamp, Vista, etc.; so Apple should take gradual steps to get into this space and, if these pay off, take some more.

  6. @tjfoam

    I think you’re dead-on, but it begs the real question, how many pc users are stodgy ole pc guys and how many are just the controlled masses going along with what they’re told to because, even if they cared, they wouldn’t have any choice anyway, and don’t feel they really know enough to get involved in the argument.

    The Mac has got to make inroads to the enterprise market, not because enterprise is going to necessarily be a big market, but because of public perception – Real business is conducted on Windows bearing pcs, etc. etc.

  7. There’s no way my IT dept. would consider Macs.

    They tolerate me as my organisation’s single Mac user, on condition I look after my own system (not a problem; there’s no way I’d let them near it).

    I’ve never quite figured out why there’s such staunch opposition to Macs from IT departments. I accept some of their arguments about supporting two platforms, but I can’t help but conclude that they also see a threat in Macs. If all I need from them is a few IP addresses, other users might not need much from them either.

    One thing Apple could do to help Macs sneak into the corporate world is to improve Exchange compatibility. It’s not bad now, but it could be better.

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