Choosing between Mac and Windows? You may not have to.

 In End-User Devices, Hardware

The age-old debate between Mac and Windows is finally over.

The winner? Both.

At least that’s the new trend in the IT world. With mobile device management and the cloud, enterprises often don’t have to choose between one ecosystem and another for their entire company. Instead, choose your own device (CYOD) programs are becoming increasingly popular.

Still, making sure you successfully implement such a program requires some initial choice from the employer side. After all, a free-for-all could eliminate all the benefits choice brings with it.

Why you should choose CYOD

Having one type of machine, whether that be Windows, Linux, or Mac, used to be an advantage. Imaging, which had to be done manually for each device, meant that having the same device across the company made IT’s life much easier. But with the increased focus on cloud, identity protection, and customer-centric IT, choice in the workplace has become not just a possibility, but the better option.

End users work more productively on devices they’re familiar with. And with new tools and methods available for managing and imaging devices, choice has become a big selling point for employers hoping to recruit new talent.

The three reasons you might consider choice

Offers of choice are usually extended for one of three reasons:

  1. A user wants a more familiar device
  2. A job requires particular applications available on a certain device
  3. A company wants to use or stop using certain resources

Maybe your employees simply prefer Macbook Pros. Maybe your legal department needs an application that’s only available for Windows. Or maybe you want to cut the overall cost of management by launching Macs in the workplace.

Any of these scenarios is a likely case for opening up the types of devices used in the workplace; however, any device an employee adopts must work within all three criteria: good for the user, good for the job, and good for the company.

If your office can’t afford a high number of Surface devices, for example, you might want to look into other options that better fit your resources.

In another case, while a user may be more comfortable using a Windows machine, it may not pass the particular security parameters for certain high-risk jobs. Here, it doesn’t make sense to offer Windows as a choice to that employee.

Finding a balance between you and your users

Of course, you should consider more than just your resources and job requirements. Get feedback from end users themselves on what they feel would best help them complete their job, or what they’re most comfortable using. These will not match up with the job requirements in all cases, but it’s a good starting point. Plus, if you find that a user is uncomfortable using a particular machine, it lays the groundwork for assisting them in the transition to using the new device.

While there are a few generalizations, like accountants tending to skew toward Windows machines and creative jobs tending to skew toward Macs, these lines are soft. More important is how well the machine fits your business, and how comfortable your employees feel using it.

Both may be better

While there are still considerations that need to go into what machines you offer in the workplace, the blanket answer for the entire office is no longer a requirement.

Change and choice can be intimidating at first. After all, changing your devices could mean a change in workflow. But in most cases, opening up your environment—at least to a few different devices—can help your company become more efficient, productive, and an overall better place to work.

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