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Integrating Macs into enterprise IT

updated 06:00 pm EDT, Thu April 26, 2007

Macs in enterprise IT

Enterprise-level companies deciding to switch to Apple's Mac platform are likely to encounter several roadblocks, but business IT magazine CIO is helping to ease the transition for larger businesses. Christian Anschuetz of the Publicis Groupe suggests that Macs may actually require more support technicians, partly due to less enterprise support and partly because creative employees (the primary users of Macs) may be more demanding. In a similar vein, Mac software is not always as complete as PC equivalents, and databases or clients may not be Mac-compatible in the first place. These factors may require porting data over, or finding an improvised solution, according to the report.

Enterprises are encouraged to consider open-source software from lesser-known companies, according to Thomas Larkin, a network technician for Olathe District Schools in Kansas City.

Another potential issue is the trap of habit and convenience.

"If you deploy Microsoft's Active Director for Windows," says Jeremy Reichman of the Rochester Institute of Technology, "... The natural inclination is to ask, 'Is Mac OS X going to be compatible with Active Directory?' But there are often alternative ways to get to the same end result."

Companies may be tempted to use Boot Camp to take advantage of both Windows and Mac OS X, but there are no known disk imaging programs currently equipped to handle a computer with two operating systems.

Staffing may prove one of the greatest roadblocks in switching platforms, simply because Mac specialists are typically rarer and more familiar with small businesses. Those employees may need to maintain knowledge of Windows as well, and for these individuals Larkin and Reichman suggest turning to the online Mac user community to find at least some qualified individuals.




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. macentric

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Mac and Windows Imaging

    Mik Bombich's fine program NetRestore allows you to make BootCamp disk images from either FAT or NTFS partitions.

    Please check your facts.

    http://www.bombich.com/mactips/dualboot.html

  1. eldarkus

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    one word...

    PARALLELS!!! File -> Clone..

    Whats the point in having a dual boot system anyways. So users spend their time booting back an forth? please...

  1. Warrenpeace

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Nonsense

    Macs will require fewer support staff 'cause the OS is so much more reliable. Users won't see blue-screens and cryptic error messages. Creative staff are into their Macs and are more competent in using their computer.

  1. pysan

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    scared

    I think the big IT shops are just a little scared of what they see as an increasing ability to have users on multiple platforms. They are also excited, but not sure how to proceed since very few staff understand macs. I know for our company of several hundred employees with an IT team of 20 or so, I am the only mac IT guy that came in as part of a recent acquisition. So I get all the mac related challenges, and everyone else in IT is a bit scared of it, and just hands it off. They don't even want to learn, so that is what needs to be overcome...

    ------------------------- www.itfinanceguy.com

  1. dmsimmer

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Lazy

    pysan is right. These people are just lazy.

    Creative users demand more? I think it's we 'expect' more from our system. And that's where the Win system falls short.

  1. bhuot

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    website broken

    I can't read the second page because the navigation menu bleeds into the content. Learn how to do a website guys. I can't trust their experience in IT if they can't even get their website to work right.

  1. jcatma61

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Not Just Big IT

    It has a lot to do with IT management that just wants to be lazy and recommend single platform/single application solutions. Criminy, are these guys still everywhere.

    I can show you the ROI with Macs and upgraded infrastructure in so many business categories, but the guys with the decisionmaking are still taking the lazy man's way out.

    Anybody can pull the trigger on throwaway $799 Dells and Win2K servers; it's too hard for a lot of these guys to take the time to put pencil to paper and work with their VAR on the better solution.

  1. nostrademas

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    why assume creatives?

    If the point of the article was about more "enterprise" customers using Macs, then it is surely about *breaking away* from the traditional use by creatives to more mainstream businesses. The lower cost of ownership is a key business driver for doing so.

    And if the enterprise is going to retain a mixed environment then that means they will need to keep some of their Windows support and take on an appropriate amount of Mac support. But the evidence is that you need a lower ratio of support per installed user for Macs than for Windows, so it will still cost less.

  1. macguru1320

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    The true RIT

    Mac's and Active Directory at RIT work fine, at least under our division. I have had no problems integrating a Mac system into a third party solution, and if anything you will run into, is the way your organization sets up the Directory.

    Never believe anything that you read about Macs in enterprise. I'm always amazed at what "IT professionals" come up with when talking about the Mac. If you want a true answer, ask someone that actaully supports them for a living and see what they say, and I'm talking about someone that supports a lot of them.

  1. gskibum3

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    The true RIT

    macguru1320 is dead on. I have great success with Macs and AD, and IT professionals make up for a lack of creativity in art with an abundance of creativity in coming up with shortcomings in supporting Macs.

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