updated 06:45 pm EST, Wed February 28, 2007
Mac making inroads to IT?
Ignored for years, Apple is--at last--garnering the attention of business IT departments, says Network World's John Fontana. In his latest column, Fontana argues that the Mac now has many key features that were previously missing, such as infrastructure and interoperability hooks, clustering and storage technology, and third-party virtualization software. Significantly, the rise of Intel Macs and Microsoft's switch to Windows Vista has forced some departments to do comparison shopping.
"Intel Macs have really changed things," says Scott Melendez, San Francisco's manager of enterprise messaging. The city first adopted the Mac platform in 2003. "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."
Tom Gonzales, a network administrator for the Colorado State Employees Credit Union, comments on the issue of Vista. "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," he says. The Credit Union has not yet made its decision. "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."
According to some however, there are still problems with making the leap to Apple. The company has no formal support for enterprises, either in technical assistance, or simply in selling products to corporate clients. "To be successful with businesses, they would have to build up an enterprise selling organization if they wanted to gain greater growth in corporate environments," says Creative Strategies analyst Tim Bajarin. There is also the problem of having to use virtualization rather than wanting it, as there continues to be more PC IT software than for the Mac.