The Enterprising Mac

Mar 16, 2016

Over the past few years, we’ve seen an increase in the popularity and market share of Apple Mac (OS X) computers. Does this mean that they’re better than PCs? The truth is they each have their uses, their strengths and weaknesses.

Hey there, Good Lookin!

Hey, good lookin'!
When purchasing systems for clients, our concerns are about the ability, performance, reliability, and manageability of the computer system. For example, there are some brands that we see in our repair shop a lot more than others, and we make no excuses for steering our clients away from those brands so that they have a better experience. It’s also important to avoid purchasing a computer because of its looks; a more common criterion than you may imagine.

They’re both really good and mature operating systems, and the most appropriate choice is the one that checks the most boxes for your specific situation.

They Just Can’t Get Along That Well

Mac-vs-PC
One of the biggest Mac issues is that most established and popular business software was written for the PC, not for the Macintosh. Also, for companies that have traditional, non web-based software to run, it’s very difficult to completely integrate their Macs into the security and file-sharing infrastructure established for the Windows domain-based computers, and to manage them all consistently. Yes, we can get files into and out of the servers for the Macs, but it’s not smooth.

The Cloudy Business

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We do work with some companies who have an all-Mac infrastructure, and for them (and only them) it works OK because 100% of their software and files are internet-based. In other words, they’re not worrying about running Quickbooks or Sage Business Works, or saving data to a local file-server, because they’re using all their business software through a subscription service they access through a web browser. Nothing is local.

Excuse Me, I Have Every Right

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In a business setting, Macs are more difficult to securely administrate. In the Mac OS X world, an end-user is either established as the administrator of the computer with God-like rights, or they are a ‘limited user,’ who has significantly fewer rights to do anything. With administrator rights, the end-user has the privilege of removing any software they choose, and there’s nothing we can do about it. So they could use those privileges to remove the management or backup software that we installed on their system, which removes our ability to administrate that system, which causes all sorts of other issues. If this were a PC, we would have the ability to tune the security and ensure the end-user could do their job with flexibility, while preserving the integrity of the system management functions and overall security. This is a big issue and one that limits our ability to ensure that the policies and dictates of the company who owns that computer are followed. For some, this alone is enough reason to disqualify the Mac for enterprise use.

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Regardless of your stance, I hope what I’ve said causes you to consider the implications before you make your next computer purchase. There are great features and capabilities with both types of systems.

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