Should the enterprise consider the Apple Mac again?

Big firms like IBM and SAP have switched to the Mac of late

While Apple sells millions and millions of iPhones and iPads, the Mac is more of an oddity in business, especially as companies grow. What might start as a few people with MacBooks on a college campus eventually becomes business users all running Windows on a laptop.

Except for this: IBM recently announced that it is switching to the Mac. And so did SAP. And, as Uber and Buzzfeed have grown, they've stubbornly stayed with the Mac platform, despite having hundreds of users. In fact, the Mac is reappearing in the enterprise. One big reason is that the Mac now offers management software that is much easier to deploy than ever before.

Setup and support

Starting with the serial number for a new Mac, large companies are able to begin the management process before a new Mac is even shrink-wrapped and shipped out.

Another reason is that the user interface is still better. According to IBM, only 5% of tech support calls are related to Mac problems. That's spurred renewed interest in the OS, and a few analysts have told me they see an uptick in adoption.

Yet enterprise users can be still incredulous. PC laptops are still the most prevalent portables at airports, high-tech companies, and hotels. They're cheaper (usually by a few hundred dollars or pounds, possibly more), which makes them more common. Microsoft's new Windows 10 operating system is a hit. It has already been installed on 270 million devices worldwide with the goal of landing on one billion in the next few years. Microsoft owns the business market, or so we've been told again and again.

MacBook

The shift to the cloud is a good thing for Apple's computers

An open door for Apple?

However, that's starting to change. Gartner analyst Michael Silver, who is the Research VP for Mobile and Endpoint Computing, says most businesses need Windows for about half of the apps they use, despite what you may have heard about the cloud taking over. Yet, as the shift to the cloud makes local enterprise apps less and less viable, the Mac could have an open door.

"We do see the enterprise changing, they are broadening who can have the Mac as an exception to the rule," says Silver. "And, we companies are more likely to choose the Mac."

For any enterprise considering the Mac again, there are three major reasons to choose the platform, but also three major reasons to avoid it. And we're going to detail those reasons on the next page…

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Contributor

John Brandon (Twitter, Google+) has covered gadgets and cars for the past 12 years having published over 12,000 articles and tested nearly 8,000 products. He's nothing if not prolific. Before starting his writing career, he led an Information Design practice at a large consumer electronics retailer in the US. His hobbies include deep sea exploration, complaining about the weather, and engineering a vast multiverse conspiracy.