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BYOD boosts Macs vs. PCs

New management tools remove last barrier to widespread Mac adoption in the enterprise

By John S. Webster, Network World
February 19, 2013 12:07 AM ET

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"Employees can choose Macs if that's what they want. Forty percent of our employees, including a large portion of our contractors who work here at the headquarters are on Macs, and we've seen 11% quarter-over-quarter growth of that platform. We also saw more growth globally than PC growth in November," she adds.

In terms of support, Cisco IT learned that when Macs first came into the company -- and it had 2,500 that were not IT-supported -- they were self-supported by employees.

"It should be a last resort to call the help desk when you have a support problem. To avoid this, within the community we provide actions, content and policies, and chat. All this is part of our self-support offering, which started on the Mac. That's improved our employees' confidence in the Mac platform and helped drive adoption. Employees love it. It's simple and easy to use on PCs, Macs, iPhones and iPads." adds Johnson.

CBS Interactive has a similar story. The design of Macs, as well as usability and lowering prices, contribute to its growth at the company, says CTO Peter Yared. He also notes that PCs are seeing a growth spurt of late due to Windows 8.

"When we brought in Macs, we thought we'd have to do a lot of training, but none of the employees who chose Macs needed it. We could even switch key commands to those in a Windows environment, so people who are used to PCs were not confused by the Apple key commands," Yared says.

At the company, 30% to 35% of employees use MacBook Airs and iPhones, and as a result, they're a more "excited" workforce, according to Yared.

"Employees are happier and that makes them more productive. In addition, our fearless leader, Jim Lanzone, is a big supporter of using Macs, and that has given the program a fantastic boost. We might see over time that 90% of employees want Macs," he adds.

Employees are happier and that makes them more productive. We might see over time that 90% of employees want Macs

At Cambridge, Mass.-based Caregroup, CIO John Halamka, says that given the demand for OSX and iOS in the user community, it is the responsibility of CIOs to embrace, manage and support these devices.

"At present, we have about 12,000 Windows devices, 1,000 iPads, 4,000 iPhones, and 2,000 Mac OSX devices," he says.

Management: The final frontier

Dave Johnson at Forrester says to reduce management challenges when Macs are brought into a corporate setting, IT departments should determine which employees are good candidates for BYOC.

They should also take into account things like access privileges and regulatory issues. At the high end, they need to assess user sophistication, and identify groups of employees who can take care of themselves.

"There are a couple of ways to do this once you decide on your approach. You can deliver the Windows desktop to the Mac, and expand self-support. Software such as Casper Suite does a really good job with this," he says.

Other management software that has been released for the Mac include Parallels, Moka Five, Orchard Parc, Centrify and Group Logic.

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