The Mac vs. PC war is over. Now your biggest challenge is adoption.
Platform-agnostic tools allow users to choose their preferred platform while retaining access to the tech they need.
This post contains content for We Got Your Mac podcast, presented by SHI.
The Mac vs. PC war is over…at least when choosing which devices to deploy. The largest indicator of this shift has been Microsoft’s recent open-arms approach to the Mac as a viable platform in all areas of the enterprise.
Steve Weiner, principal architect of SHI’s Advanced Solutions Group, shares his experience as a Microsoft developer to illustrate how the gap between Windows and Mac has narrowed over the years.
Unified endpoint management
In the past, managing devices with multiple operating systems required multiple solutions. Today, many device management platforms like Jamf, Kandji, and Microsoft Intune offer unified endpoint management (UEM), making it easy to administer user access to company resources and applications across Mac, Windows, and even iOS and Android devices simultaneously.
“From a management standpoint, they have made big, broad changes to be accessible to organizations who want to manage their Macs with their PCs,” Steve says. “I can have one set of standards for Windows, for Mac, for Android, for iOS…it’s not as complicated anymore to bring everyone in.”
Microsoft’s Defender suite of products allows Steve to deploy multiple levels of security regardless of platform.
Steve says, “I’m helping folks stand up endpoint security, cloud security, app security, but we’re platform agnostic. We can give the same experience on Mac as we can give on Windows or on iOS. And it’s holistic.”
Three tiers of software compatibility
When evaluating the viability of Mac adoption, Steve breaks down software compatibility requirements into three tiers.
Basic productivity apps
There was a time when Microsoft developed completely different versions of its Office suite of applications for Windows and the Mac, leading to user confusion and compatibility issues. With Office 365, Microsoft has made the applications platform agnostic, allowing for identical versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and the rest of the suite to be downloaded or accessed through a browser, further blurring the line between Macs and PCs.
Additionally, many businesses have shifted to SaaS and web-based cloud applications for productivity, which tend to look and operate the same way regardless of the platform used to access them.
For applications that aren’t Mac native and require Windows, virtualization is a great option on the Mac. Using a tool like Parallels, users can run Windows applications alongside their Mac applications without rebooting into a different operating system.
Of course, some applications can’t run in virtualization software. In those cases, Cloud PCs are the way to go. Using Windows 365 Cloud, a Mac user can remotely log into a full-fledged Windows PC to get their work done.
“I can…buy a license to give my user a cloud PC on their Mac, they can open that up and log in, and do what they have to do,” Steve says.
Don’t solve for the fringe
When considering technology policies, Steve recommends never solving for the fringe, or making sweeping decisions based on the needs of the smallest percentage of users.
Performing workforce analysis, organizations can group users by how they operate and what tools they need to use, often revealing fringe users that might be relying on outdated or unsupported software. This can not only help justify Mac adoption at scale but might reveal opportunities for cost savings and increased productivity.
Give users the option to use what they like
In evaluating an organization’s technology stack, it’s important to consider what devices employees prefer. As we learned in episode 8, using a particular device at home doesn’t necessarily mean it will be easy for work. Still, for the die-hard fans of one operating system or another, it’s often easier and less intimidating to get up to speed when working in a familiar environment.