Adopting macOS in corporate environments: It’s time.

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Over the last few years, we’ve seen something that decades ago would have been shocking: Mac in business. You can thank the kids for that.

According to an independent survey from Vanson Bourne – commissioned by Jamf – 71% of higher education students prefer Mac to PC.

Some 83% of the Mac users surveyed said they want to keep using a Mac when they enter the workplace, while nearly eight in 10 believe employers should offer employees a choice.

Still, organizations are reluctant to use Mac in corporate environments. The IT departments tasked with managing the devices have had trouble in the past. The feeling is that Macs don’t cooperate with the domain as well as PCs. There’s also a misconception that they’re difficult to maintain and service because only Apple and other authorized service providers are able to get the parts needed to repair these devices.

But while integrating Mac into a Windows environment may be challenging, it’s no longer as difficult as it once was. Organizations no longer have to enforce a “my way or the highway” policy on their end users’ devices; macOS has a place in the corporate world and could even offer benefits down the road.

Here’s why you should reconsider your policy on Macs.

New tools, greater functionality

While macOS hasn’t always been a mainstay in business, there were always pockets within organizations – usually creative departments – that have used Macs.

In the past, IT departments didn’t administer these devices. Either they didn’t know how to manage them or they didn’t really care. IT departments are traditionally required to administer any machine they oversee, so you can imagine why companies would find this scenario problematic.

Lately, however, there’s been a surge of available tools – e.g., Jamf, Addigy, and VMware’s AirWatch, among quite a few others – that can manage the Mac. Some, namely Jamf, can even integrate into Microsoft Intune, a modern Windows management platform.

More organizations are also taking advantage of a wave of web apps that aren’t as platform-dependent as they once were. They don’t lock companies in the way that developing their own, primarily Microsoft, applications did in the past.

Things to think about before adopting macOS

macOS integrates better with mobile devices, is more secure and stable than Windows, and, despite initially costing more, offers better long-term value according to 43% of those surveyed by Jamf.

However, before offering your employees the choice to work on Macs, certain steps should be taken.

First and foremost, you need to ensure you have a competent management platform in place. This will allow you to test the waters, maintain current business flow, and not risk getting in over your head.

Next, reach out to current Mac users within your organization, as well as others who may have already been interested in the platform. Initiate a pilot program led by some of these users, since they’re the ones who are most likely to be invested in the move.

However, the pilot should be a diverse group of employees – including some who are unfamiliar with Mac – that touch different parts of the business. You can’t just rely on pro-Mac employees to be on board; you need to be able to show other employees the benefits of making the switch and how it will make their lives easier.

Once the pilot is off the ground, plan out who’s going to be easiest and hardest to replace applications for. Then, implement a roll-out schedule that addresses the easiest ones first.

If you focus on the easiest workloads to replace, you can learn all the lessons without having to support some of the more difficult areas of the business. Something as simple as the order in which you replace applications can make all the difference.

Ensuring a successful Mac adoption

Organizations may still be reluctant to offer Mac as a choice. Especially those that have done considerable legacy development in Windows apps.

But for companies that believe Mac adoption is worth considering, just remember you’re more likely to succeed if your IT department manages the Macs lightly.

You want your end users to get the most out of their devices. Don’t lock the machines down, removing power from your end users, just because “it’s always how we did it on Windows.” There is built-in security and an operating system that’s looking out for them. There’s no point in offering a new tool if you’re going to prevent your employees from getting the most out of it.

Employees are happier and more efficient when they’re allowed to use familiar devices at work, which has been proven out. Forbes has found that companies like Intel and VMware have experienced the productivity benefits of letting employees use devices they know. The former saw an increase of nearly an hour of productivity a day, while the latter banked $2 million because of rising efficiency.

Choose your own device (CYOD) builds on those benefits. At IBM, when employees were given their choice of device, 73% chose a Mac. The company is saving up to $535 per Mac user over four years, which really adds up when 90,000 employees are using Macs.

When organizations go the Mac route, they find the devices are no longer as difficult to manage in the corporate environment – in fact, IBM found PCs were three times more expensive to manage than Macs. At the same time, employees get the device they want and are familiar with. Feels like a win-win situation.

If you’re considering offering your employees the choice to work on macOS and want to learn more, contact your SHI account executive.