Jupiter Research’s Gartenberg: Get over the myths, IT guy; Apple Macs are for business

“Most IT departments are not deploying Macintosh systems in large numbers and those that are are deploying are usually in niche spaces such as graphic arts, multimedia and publishing. The truth is that Mac OS has changed quite a bit in the last few years and today’s Apple systems offer a reasonable alternative for Windows systems for many mainstream uses OS X Leopard is rock solid UNIX at the core with Apple’s elegant user interface on top. One of the big issues around business use centers on myths that still exist regarding the platform,” Michael Gartenberg blogs for Jupiter Research.

Gartenberg covers the following myths:
Macs are expensive vs. PCs: In many cases, comparable Apple systems are priced similarly or in some cases are even cheaper than their competition.
• Macs lack software: MacDailyNews Note: Gartenberg covers all of the bases except one: Macs run Windows and Linux apps and therefore Macs, not any other PC, have the capability to run the world’s largest software library. Slum it with Windows when you’re absolutely forced to — until the glorious day arrives when you don’t need Windows anymore.
• Apple Macs are proprietary: Apple is one of the most standards driven operating systems you can purchase… (Apple was actually the first OS vendor to bundle TCP/IP support into a commercial operating system).

Gartenberg writes, “Apple systems can be a seamless fit for many organizations. Time to get over the myths and take a closer look.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Note: CEOs, who runs the company, you or the IT guy? It’s your job to make the decisions and it’s the IT guy’s job to implement your decisions that relate to technology. You need to educate yourself instead of relying on someone with their own, possibly hidden, agendas to make extremely important technology decisions for your company. Most of you could be saving a lot of money right now, but you aren’t because you’ve delegated an important and expensive portion of your company’s decision-making process to people who, frankly, in our experience, aren’t capable of making good, sound, strategic, long-term decisions. Most IT guys (and we know many) are not open-minded enough to be able to consider new, better, more efficient, more effective options that would benefit your company. In fact, most IT guys we’ve met will throw up road blocks and repeat myths until they’re blue in the face in order to avoid change. Especially change that might make their department less critical and smaller. Bottom line: most of you CEOs have given the IT guy way, way, way too much power. It’s time to take it back.

64 Comments

  1. @Cubert would it be safe to say the answer to Frustration Level is “42” ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

    I’m an IT guy myself, though I do graphic design and other multimedia stuff that I took in college and high school. If every company switched over to MACs right now running the MAC OS… You could literally cut atleast half the IT jobs out there. Now if they were running windows on them wouldn’t be as bad but there would be many who panic in a frenzy.. This reminds me, if you haven’t read the very short simple book “Who ate my cheese?” you should it’s rather funny yet useful.

    I use mac and PC so im not worried of a switch 😀

  2. The myths aren’t myths. While the Mac is a feasible alternative to a Windows system in more cases than it was 8 years ago, it’s still not worth considering in cubicle world for exactly the three “mythical” reasons stated in this article:

    1) The vast majority of worker-bee business systems are the cheap-seats $300-$500 machines. Gartenberg says Macs are sometimes “cheaper than their competition,” but fails to note that Apple DOES NOT COMPETE at that level.

    2) The smaller software pool is a reality, and while it doesn’t usually mean you CAN’T do a thing, it does mean your choice of HOW to do it is much more restricted. Oh, and that “complete and compatible version of Office” for OSX is neither complete nor compatible. Still no Outlook (entourage is a sad, sad little program) and now they’ve dropped VBscript support. That’s key for finance & budgeting applications at least, and probably lots of others too.

    3) “proprietary protocols” is a misnomer for the closed-community mentality of the Mac. They won’t permit it to run on commodity hardware, won’t build a consumer system w/ expansion, etc.

  3. @PC Apologist

    Quote: “Still no Outlook (entourage is a sad, sad little program)”

    I don’t it buy. I have full Exchange email support in Entourage. Email, Contacts, and Calendar Events. It all works.

    Explain why Entourage is a sad, sad poor little program.

  4. I love my Macs. I’m as big an Apple Fanboy as they come. I am in the process of eliminating PC/Windows completely from my home life. However, I need to eject a reality check here:

    MDN is fond of pointing out that Macs now run Windows. What they don’t mention is the additional cost involved. For each Mac you have to buy a license for Windows; a virtualization program if you don’t want to re-boot constantly; and anti-virus software for the Windows side. I doubt an IT guy will be convinced to spend all that extra cash just to have Apple hardware and OS X without a very compelling reason.

    Can businesses get along without Window? OS X has a lot of software options, but there are still many programs on the Windows side that don’t have OS X counterparts. I work at an engineering company and most of the modeling and simulation tools we use have no versions in OS X and no equivalent tools.

    Finally, companies invest millions, sometimes billions in hardware, software, and networking infrastructure. Expecting them to throw all that out and start over is completely impractical.

    If Apple has a chance at enterprise, it will happen as a small movement rather than a revolution. The iPhone 2.0 is the birth of that strategy. I hope it works.

  5. @PC Apologist (again)

    Intelligence agencies tend to have a lot of Macs, too. I guess none of these guys have a problem with the smaller software pool. There are a lot more Macs in those enterprise-sized government agencies than you think.

    When you say the Windows software pool is larger, it’s like saying the English language has the most words of any language. Both statements are true so far as they go, but quite a lot of that software pool is junk, and no one has a working vocabulary that includes all those words. When we talk about useful software, Windows and Mac are about even, and when we talk about the average person’s working vocabulary, the English language is actually a little behind.

    I agree with you, Microsoft did a poor job on Office 2008, and they did withhold features and technology from it. Word 2008 is go-get-a-cup-of-coffee slow, and it doesn’t know how to redraw the screen after something changes. It’s not the Mac’s fault that Microsoft puts out poor quality. However, there are alternatives. Government agencies tend to use a lot of custom, web-based software, so the software pool argument and the Microsoft Office quality argument only go so far.

  6. I don’t think IT guys are lazy or dumb. I think they are afraid for their job. Their kingdom. If systems just work, are easy to maintain, and don’t NEED I.T., then their job might be on the line, their power will certainly decrease, their budget might even decrease.

  7. Working at a large F100 company that is all IBM, articles like this are amusing. I’ve been a Mac user since the IIe, still have a mac Classic, IIFX in the basement and currently have a mini as a media box and a G5 for Final Cut Studio.

    This article could maybe work for small business and places that use out of the box type applications. We have likely 700 custom written applications that I doubt would work on a mac, no CIO is going to approve a budget to: 1 – replace a large number of computers and 2 – fund said application recoding. Your talking years of work when at the end what is gained?

    Apple is good at the niche they perform in but that is all, their happy being a niche / lifestyle computer type company and their muscle is mostly around their media strong hold called Itunes.

    FYI we have our marketing department still on Mac’s (20 G5’s) and outsourced the support of this to a mac service provider. The cost is 2x what we can do in house with some college interns ghosting pc’s and doing help desk type calls.

  8. @Macromancer says, “I’ve never understood this proprietary nonsense. Windows is proprietary. Just because it has a larger market share doesn’t change this fact.” It is an official Microsoft edict that their OS, their software, their products – will indeed become the de facto standard in every category. Simple market domination has never been MS’s ultimate goal.

    @DLMeyer, while I don’t dismiss your point out-of-hand, there are some sub-points that my personal experience has proven otherwise – and more than twice. And it’s this point along with its corresponding backlash that continues to close the door on anything but MS enterprise solutions, and that is the issue of perceived as opposed to real, actual dollars spent.

    What very few seem to get, even still, is that you do not save money in the workplace by purchasing $500 desktop workstations. This is the continuing fallacy (if that’s not redundant, and even if it is, it works in this case). Macintosh and its accompanying OS X do not save a few dollars in the first year, they often and literally pay for themselves inside of the first six months compared to purchasing a cheap pc running Windows. MS continues to be excessively successful at playing this game with the enterprise market place, that it controls like puppets.

    Oh, and about that ubiquitous IT “configuration disk” from five years ago: Yeah well, even when I’m strong armed into using Windows at work no IT person comes near my computer with that disk – which, by the way, in spite of what it’s intended to do still takes the IT guy at least 30 minutes to actually get fully up and running, most often requiring that he spend time rewriting about half of the script that’s on that disk to accommodate the new computer’s idiosyncrasies.

    In contrast, when a Mac comes in the door I’ve already called the “I-Don’t-Do-Macs” IT department and acquired the requisite network info including shared storage space, WAN, and what ever email, LDAP infrastructure connections I’ll need to communicate efficiently. I unbox the Mac, turn it on, plug in the information (without the “disk”), and presto-chango, I’ve saved the company anywhere from $50-150 just turning on the machine – as compared to the Windows machine which absolutely requires that an IT person fuss with it for some seemingly predetermined amount of time.

    I actually did this in a scenario where 30 people were given a choice between Windows and Mac desktops. Interestingly we ended up being split just about down the middle – 16 Macs and 14 Windows. Between the time of purchase and actually receiving the machines I took all of the Mac users aside and spent 30 minutes taking them through a step by step process of unboxing and setting up their machines. It must have worked because I only had to help two of the Mac users during their respective setups, and all that I had to do was answer one question each and they were back up and running. The “We-Don’t-Do-Macs” IT department refused to let me approach the Windows installations that way, nor did they want to provide their own trainer – So, when the Windows machines came in one (1) IT person went to all 14 Windows users, one at a time, and spent between 20 and 40 minutes running the configuration disk for each user… Did I mention, one at a time? We did a cost break down of those incidences, and as it turns out, the time spent setting up the Windows machines almost payed for one of the Macs – THAT’S JUST OUT OF THE BOX FOLKS!!! We continued to track incidences for both platforms for the next 12 months and compared to the Windows running machines, the Macs were paying for themselves in 6-12 months – period.

    Exclusively MS-trained IT people, please get over it and yourselves. The only real excuse there is for not beginning to use OS X/OS X Server is that there is not yet the full line of ready made product solutions for larger enterprise scenarios, but that really is no excuse because that is a simple issue of supply and demand – and when the demand for non-MS solutions for large enterprise environments begins, then there will be product – it ain’t rocket science. And guess where the onerous lies for creating that demand in a meaningful way.

    And for those of you who use Windows religiously, and are afraid that MS/Windows might disappear altogether – Well, it might, but I think what will really happen is that MS, and specifically Windows will actually begin to actually improve for the first time since ’95.

    Peace

  9. I just had a real estate guy come to my door, got a call via iChat, picked up my MacBook to answer it; he’d never seen anything like it, showed him Parallels and Windows XP running alongside OS X. His question was most real estate software is Windows, it’s essential to use it in his business, can he run it and does he need virus software, etc. and about the cost of Office. His sales people (some want Macs, naturally enough) can use dot Mac to share files, back them up, etc. and it supports iChatAV.
    I’m an accountant, so I said he could have productive meetings without travellling to the office, could save on travel time, have effective meetings from home. Against these savings, why fixate on the costs pertaining to additional software (XP, Parallels, anti-virus? An accountant has to look at the bottom line, opportunities to improve productivity, and software costs are not that significant in the scheme of things. The main problem is the general lack of awareness of the productivity aspects of moving to Macs.

  10. Hey Gartenberg: Don’t go stickin’ your nose where it doesn’t belong! MACs don’t belong ANYWHERE except maybe next to the Fisher-Price Little People farm for unfortunate kids who will never understand computers.

    There is so much you don’t know about the real IT world. Stay out, buttinski!

    Your potential. Our passion.™

  11. Didn’t we just have this discussion? I invite all you folks who think a Mac is a perfectly suitable solution to replace Windows in all business to come here to my company and try it. Lets see how far you get. And this notion that MDN keeps thinks Macs are such suitable replacements just because they can run Windows doesn’t hold any water. On one front they argue that the Mac OSX is superior yet when the issue of replacing Windows machine with a Mac they attack with the hardware point. So which is it MDN? Is it a hardware issue, or a software issue? The point is that if a Mac running Mac OSX is such a fantastic replacement I shouldn’t even care if it runs Windows at all. While there are some businesses that certainly can benefit from switching to Macs, it is ENTIRELY INACCURATE to infer that all businesses can just switch to Mac OSX and have all their needs met. Windows sucks, but sometimes its the only tool to get the job done.

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