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Apple in the Enterprise

It's always been fairly easy to find a Mac or two in any given business. The machines would be in the graphic department or would be running Dreamweaver for the Web Person. You could pretty much count on two things:

  • The IT Department wouldn't touch the Macs, hell or high water
  • Whoever had one also had a Windows box at least 50% of the time

That's changing. Business Week reports a new survey that says "more than two thirds of respondents - 68% - said they will allow their employees to use Macs as their corporate enterprise desktops in the next 12 months".

Note that "allow". This isn't the graphic geek who NEEDS the Mac, this is just people wanting them. As those people are likely to include managers, CEO's and other people that IT can't ignore, that steadfast refusal to support anything but Windows will have to change.. rapidly.

Though there's less support needed.. well, maybe more when it comes to melding into structures designed for homogenized PC's running a specific version of some specific software, but who's fault is that really? If some app requires IE 6 and nothing else because of lazy (or incompetent) programmers, is that Apple's problem?

PC's came into the workplace because people brought them in. A lot of that was driven by Visicalc, the first spreadsheet (if we'd had software patents then, the world would be a very different place today!). The business computing environment then was mainframes and minicomputers, attended to by Very Important People who had disdain for "lusers" and didn't want those machines brought in. Unfortunately for them, the people bringing them in weren't unimportant little worker bees: no, they were accountants, managers, CEO's.. so IT had to adapt.

Just as they'll have to adapt to Mac's now.

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© Anthony Lawrence

Thu Dec 11 21:27:41 2008: 4912   BrettLegree

Our CEO was here a week ago to give a presentation. As usual, I was early and got to watch IT set up the equipment and do a test run of the slide deck.

At first, I thought, "hmm, those slides are a lot slicker than our normal ones - almost looks like Keynote" - you see, we're still on Office 2000. Still.

Then I noticed a silvery laptop, with a piece of colourful Christmas paper taped to the back - as if it were there so you couldn't see what the logo on the laptop was... so I squinted.

And I thought, "that looks like a Macbook Pro".

On my way out, I walked by the front of the room - confirmed. Latest model Macbook Pro... :)

So I emailed a friend of mine in IT and said, "lame attempt at hiding the Mac!" - he wrote back laughing, and told me they were all talking about it, because they had "encountered some trouble getting it to work".

We are very much a Windows-only shop, so the IT folks know nothing else. I shouldn't be mean, they are okay at what they do... sort of... (I have a lot of stories where I diagnosed issues with my own machine, they didn't listen to what I had said - which was correct, by the way - and they ended up spending a day or two messing about... anyway...)

So I offered my services :) if they wanted to know about Macs, I'd be happy to come and give them a crash course. I'm not sure they believe that I know anything... perhaps I should show them the virtual machine image of my work laptop that I've got running under Fusion on my MBP :)

Soon, very soon...

And I can't wait!


PS - the best year of my life was 2003, when I used a Ti Powerbook at work. Awesome! Then I moved to where I am now, was given an NT4 box... which proceeded to blue screen 5 or 6 times the first day... ick.

Thu Dec 11 21:36:34 2008: 4913   TonyLawrence

So funny that they feel the need to hide it, isn't it?

Thu Dec 11 23:08:11 2008: 4914   BrettLegree

It was kind of funny.

A friend of mine reminded me of something afterwards - when the CEO first came to visit (he's been in the post less than a year), he made a point of saying he was "just like us, that he used the exact same computer that we use" and so on...


Guess he didn't want anyone to call him on it! Times are a changin' though, we're likely to be bought out in the new year, budgets will be cut, and people will be focusing on what works, not what is "politically correct". So if he needs or wants a Mac to do a better job, then I'm all for it!

Kerio Samepage

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