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.