iPad

CIO Jury: Will Macs benefit from the iPad halo effect?

iPads and iPhones are now common in every workplace - but CIOs are mixed at to whether Macs will follow too

Apple's gadgets have been gradually seeping into offices over the last few years. At first iPads and iPhones sneaked under the CIO's radar, but now these devices are part of standard tech procurement - for senior executives at least.

But does this enthusiasm for Apple's smartphones and tablets, combined with the growth of the bring your own device culture, translate into more Macs being deployed by business as well?

So far it seems that CIOs remain cautious: when asked "Are you now deploying more Macs to staff as a result of the popularity of iPhones and iPads?", TechRepublic's CIO Jury of IT chiefs voted 'no' by a margin of eight to four - suggesting Apple still has a way to go to persuade IT chiefs.

Gavin Whatrup, group IT director at Creston warned there are still integration issues to consider when rolling out Macs. "Form-over-function still applies to the Mac in the enterprise, and until we hit the cloud tipping point, where the type of endpoint is irrelevant, I can't see this changing.

"Macs for specific functions, ie graphic-intensive or multi-media, can be specifically provisioned. For your highly mobile exec, though, there will always be compromises that those with a Windows PC won't have to make," he said.

Graham Yellowley, technology lead equities at financial clearing house LCH.Clearnet said: "Windows remains the desktop of choice until it is finally supplanted by tablet devices, predominantly iPads. Macs have made little penetration into the corporate world and I don't see this changing."

Meanwhile, Gavin Megnauth, director of operations at Morgan Hunt said that as a result of a new generation of workers wanting to bring their own devices into the workplace he is "exploring how to achieve this balance while maintaining corporate security."

He added: "Equally we recognise the 'brand power' of these aesthetically pleasing devices and are using them at client facing events, pitches, demos. But they are yet to penetrate the core of our end-user infrastructure."

Katherine Coombs, IT director at buyingTeam added: "We maintain a homogeneous environment with respect to company-issued laptops/phones and it makes support, replacements etc that much easier for us, which in terms makes us efficient and allows us to focus on more strategic parts of IT. We have Citrix in place, which means that users can access our systems from any device, anywhere and we are seeing more users with personal iPads and iPhones accessing Citrix and email. But they typically do so only to view information; the vast majority of our users (even those with personal devices) still use company-issued laptops for editing and writing due to the form factor such as the hard keyboard."

Still, the Mac remains tempting to many: as Rob Neil, head of business change and technology at the UK's Ashford Borough Council put it: "If I thought I would get away with it, I'd have one on my desk tomorrow."

Today's TechRepublic CIO Jury was:

  • Florentin Albu, CIO, Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations
  • Andrew Clarke, group IT director, Arcadia
  • Katherine Coombs, IT director, buying team
  • Neil Harvey, IT director at Sindlesham Court
  • Neil Jones, head of IS, Newport City Homes
  • Gavin Megnauth, director of operations and group IT, Morgan Hunt
  • Rob Neil, head of business change and technology at Ashford Borough Council
  • Mike Roberts, IT director, The London Clinic
  • Richard Storey, head of IT, Guys and St Thomas Hospital
  • Gavin Whatrup, group IT director at Creston
  • Steve Williams, director of Information Systems and Services, Newcastle University
  • Graham Yellowley, technology lead equities, LCH.Clearnet

Want to be part of TechRepublic's CIO Jury and have your say on the hot issues for IT decision makers? If you are a CIO, CTO, IT director or equivalent at a large or small company, working in the private sector or in government, and you want to join TechRepublic's CIO Jury pool, or you know an IT chief who should, then drop us a line at ciojury@techrepublic.com.

About

Steve Ranger is the UK editor of TechRepublic, and has been writing about the impact of technology on people, business and culture for more than a decade. Before joining TechRepublic he was the editor of silicon.com.

32 comments
Dknopp
Dknopp

About being in the corporate world. The price would have to go down for a corporation to invest in apple hardware, and of course after the corporate build finishes butchering the system the cool factor would be gone. There is a reason that apple is the largest tech company right now and the laptops from HP's, Dells, etc, are just limping along. The margins are just not there.

dustinsc
dustinsc

If Apple really wanted to change things, all they would have to do is give away the Mac OS for free and let it run on (nearly) any PC. They could make plenty of money on support and their App Store. I don???t understand why they haven???t figured out it???s all about selling intangibles and service, not hardware. I know Apple is making money on the hardware of iPhones & iPads, but think about how that compares to the App Store and iTunes. If I could run an Apple OS on my, Mom???s, Dad???s, Uncle???s, Wife???s, Kid???s, etc. PC for free, I would do it in a heartbeat, because that OS is something those types of users have an easier time understanding. Once Apple had enough of the home user market share, you would see enterprise IT environments slowly follow suit. The main reason why the Mac clones didn???t work is because the OS didn???t run on a PC.

Cubbie
Cubbie

Too many clueless CIO's...may have a degree but don't have enough common sense to find their backside with both hands and a map! In a majority of cases, a solution can be found, may have to 'go outside the box' sometimes, but it's usually feasible...

mmurray49
mmurray49

You can push policies and restrictions to the Mac via Apple's Lion Server. Microsoft has products coming and in place to do this for iOS devices...

AnsuGisalas
AnsuGisalas

This I didn't know. I can see the point of using a tablet for FPS games, if performance issues don't arise. Don't see how it affects businesses though :^0

adornoe
adornoe

and, although some might succeed after a lot of hammering and frustration, it would only serve to prove that, Macs were not designed with "enterprise" in mind. While it's possible to have Macs in the office, the effort is equivalent to trying to run a mass-transit transportation system with automobiles as the vehicles of choice. It can be done, but with a lot of pain, and a lot of frustrations, and it ends up being more expensive in the long run.

tbostwick
tbostwick

This article is a bit misleading - and should read, Apple has inroads to Enterprise - but not on Macs.... which distinguishes the architecture of the "Mac" vs the "iPad" - which has FOREVER changed the way Enterprises access data, the internet/intranet, and also the device of choice when traveling. The next gen Mac will undoubtedly enter into the Enterprise, if for no other reason than Win 8

maciagt
maciagt

I think the future hold some surprises for you.

jonathan.coulson
jonathan.coulson

Let us put all other issues to the side and focus on the single most driving factor effecting the corporate enviornment, especially when related to the technologies field. Fiscal consciousness is about "Bottom Line". Overall cost to outfit an entire enphastructure would not be justifiable. Failing to account for all the man-hours, end user compatibility problems, retooling and training staff, and finally trying to transition without impacting daily business operations, which every IT learns from working all nighters or weekends during rollouts, is simply not feasable to do without severly impacting the Bottom Line" profitability and productivity of the organization. After all said and done, a decision has just been implimented, profit margin impacted and the end user is still going to be as brutal, if not more distructive, to the systems due to user mentailities that Mac systems are indistructable. Apple's reputation is justified. The products do last and most IT professionals would not argue. The steadfast disagreement from a "PC Techie" when discussing this same topic with "Mac Heads" in caffaterias across the globe boils down, once again, to the overall "Bottom Line". PC's can support three full "Tech Refresh" evolutions for the cost of a single purchase of a Mac. New equipment every two years ensures business is carried out with current technology instead of an Apple asset which has most likely been brutalized by the end user for over six years to pay for its initial purchase price.

Mandolinface
Mandolinface

Growing public awareness that Apple is--in terms of relative numbers and nationalities of employees--essentially a Chinese company may affect its sales to people who care about human rights, sweat shop conditions, and unfair trade practices.

OldHenry
OldHenry

A senior IT exec walked up to me with his Mac once and smiled at me and said "why can't my Windows PC run like this." I looked at him, smiled back and said "your Mac isn't running your IT department's build." And he agreed. If Macs become standard equipment will they be tortured the way Windows is by many IT departments?

Slayer_
Slayer_

Win 7 is plenty stable, and the hardware is cheap. And windows hardware and software is leaps and bounds farther ahead as far as graphics are concerned.

thelip
thelip

These guys are so behind the times , very old school. The companies that are going to be able to attract the best and the brightest are those that have a "pic what you like" approach to tech equipment. IT as god is fading fast , those that understand this have a bright career future, those that don't will go the way of floopy disc.

don.howard
don.howard

If it does happen it will be the same as the iOS devices. People will start bringing their own. I have a Dell Precision laptop on my desk at work that has a powerbrick almost as heavy as my 15 in macbook pro. I carry the mac and remote into my Win7 desktop whenever I need something Windows specific. There are a handful of people in our IT department doing this now. Frankly, not everyone will see the cost/performance benefit of a macbook, so I don't expect it to be something that gets past corporate bean counters. For those of us who get the utility of the situation, it is worth it to use our own device.

ktsaved
ktsaved

There needs to be better integration with Active Directory, Group Policy capabilities, etc. New OS versions come with problems that worked fine with previous versions, such as: SMB problems, AD binding problems, etc. I can have a network of Windows laptops that will receive a certificate and wireless configurations via group policy to connect to corporate WiFi. Macs have to be configured manually. Can't push out software, can't push out security policies, etc., etc. The GUI is fluid and fun to use, but when the basics are broken in newer versions and users can't connect to network resources, etc., the benefit of the nice GUI dissapears.

bobgagnon
bobgagnon

The statement of 'Form over Factor' demonstrates the general lack of understanding the capabilities with a MAC on your desk or in your breifcase. Unless you have deployed solutions that are 100% microsoft based you will have very few issues with MAC's. IBM, Oracle and HP all have resources within the organizations leveraging the MAC. Less issues, higher reliability and a iron clad OS make them a choice or technical resources. So sorry that so few CIO levels will do the dillegence to determine the real fit and leverage they can get. Patching alone justifies the premium.

pfletcher229648
pfletcher229648

I currently have 25,000+ devices on my network. We have recently started purchasing some iPads for varying functions in the organization. The tablet is a new form factor that is being evaluated to determine if it creates value. I think the tablets will continue to grow in use as people adjust to them and find better ways to get productivity gains from them. I don't see in general the Mac platform following on the wave of iOS tablets.

adornoe
adornoe

While they may have the biggest market cap in the tech world, Microsoft is much larger when it comes to consumer penetration and when it comes to products and services offered. Microsoft is much more diversified, and if any of their products or services were to fail, the rest of their offerings would take up the slack. Apple cannot afford to let any of its iGadgets to fail, otherwise, the stock will take a huge tumble and the "biggest" market cap will no longer be with Apple. But, again, market cap is not how one judges the size of a company.

AnsuGisalas
AnsuGisalas

It's not like Apple could ignore this any longer, is it?

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Now, can you convince the CxO- / VP-level suits?

Gisabun
Gisabun

"your Mac isn't running your IT department's build" shows that the IT department didn't do a terrific job in creating a build for Windows that works. On top of that, a Windows computer on AD has extra overhead that isn't on a Windows computer that is stand-alone.

Gisabun
Gisabun

Tell that toa/your CIO, president, or others in management who wants their gadgets - IT be damned. "Add my iPad or find another job."

MLFManager
MLFManager

Your statement " I carry the mac and remote into my Win7 desktop whenever I need something Windows specific" is why Apple hasn't made significant inroads to enterprise IT environments. If you need to have a PC on hand to access your companies applications using your Macbook Pro, then why would the company buy you a Macbook Pro, rather than a Windows based laptop? Until all of the major players in the enterprise application space change course and develop software that will run natively in OSX, which is not likely going to happen any time soon, then Macbooks will be relegated to the design and graphics departments, where they do an excellent job. At the end of the day it really isn't about the cost/performance benefit of a Macbook, because that agrument doesn't hold water, it's more about form factor and personal preference.

sboverie
sboverie

I think the real problem is that OSX is not an enterprise OS, it is a peer to peer OS that doesn't conform to enterprise standards that easily. I read an article recently that said that Steve Jobs refused to have an enterprise version of OSX. I work in a mixed environment and things work well to a certain extent but there are problems. We have people using Macs with VMware and Win XP to use the applications that do not have Mac support.

JohnOfStony
JohnOfStony

If not, they're no good for business. If they do, why don't you use it?

mmurray49
mmurray49

I think Apple's has been doing this for some time now. How *well* may be in question historically but it's working here where I work with Lion Server 10.7.3. I'm a 20 year Win/Mac Sys Admin. - somewhat of an anomaly...

adornoe
adornoe

who keep pushing for Apple's wares in the enterprise, where Apple is not really doing anything to become a real player. It anything, it's the techies and the Apple fanatics who keep pushing and hoping that, perhaps the enterprise players will see something in Apple's offerings that Apple themselves didn't put an effort into.

JohnOfStony
JohnOfStony

Any CIO that says "Add my iPad or find another job." is obviously immature and totally unsuitable for the position of CIO. Secure IT is VITAL for today's businesses and if the Mac can't cut it where group policies and software are rolled out automatically to hundreds (or more) PCs, then the cost per Mac in terms of man hours individually installing software or implementing policies will far exceed the initial premium, and no sensibly run business wants to spend money where it's not necessary. I might add that if I had to work on a Mac, I'd find another job where I could use a Windows PC.

Slayer_
Slayer_

The discussion ended quickly.

don.howard
don.howard

so much as the connectivity. Someone else here mentioned AD integration. My corporate Win7 desktop is on the domain and has all the connectivity I need without jumping through hoops to make it work.. Most of my specific tools are either java based, or brower based, so no problems on the MacBook there. I also have MS Office on my Mac. I have very little in terms of applications that I can't run in OSX - if I can get to them on the corporate network.

Gisabun
Gisabun

You can say the same thing about iPads and iPhones. Is there something stopping an iPad from coming onto a corporate network once someone connects the WiFi? At least with Windows you can use NAC. Then there is supporting additional devices. Enable software [Mac services for Windows or otherwise] to be able to access network folders, AD access, etc. I worked at one place where we used some AD based software to stop users from copying anything to or from the network to unauthorized USB keys, cell phones, CDs, DVDs, etc. Problem is that until now [it's in beta but I'm not at that company], our Macs didn't have something that could do the same job or a client to connect to the Windows network AD. It was a back door. Same for the anti-virus. How many Mac AV software is centrally managed [and hopefully from a single server and not a separate server for Macs].

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