CXO

CIO Jury: Two-thirds of IT departments say they won't support 2016 MacBook Pro

While the 2016 MacBook Pro has a number of features meant to appeal to the enterprise, 8 out of 12 tech experts say they will not use the devices in the workplace.

In October, Apple released its new MacBook Pro, the latest generation of power user-focused laptops, with updated features including a Touch Bar, Touch ID, and faster graphics than previous models. It marked the first refresh for the MacBook Pro since the 15" model was released in May 2015.

But, the majority of TechRepublic's CIO Jury said they do not plan to use the new laptops in the workplace.

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When asked "Will your company support the 2016 MacBook Pro?", eight of our IT executive panelists said no, while four said yes.

"Considering how mature cloud digital workspaces such as Office 365 have become, the desktop/laptop hardware has lost its relevance," said Florentin Albu, CIO of Ofgem E-Serve. "With such devices being a commodity, price plays an essential role in their selection. Beauty comes at a price, and in this case the business case for using MacBook Pros in the enterprise would be difficult to articulate."

SEE: Apple MacBook Pro 2016: The smart person's guide

Indeed, the new MacBook Pro is priced above competitors: The 13" model ranges from $1,499 to $1,999, while the 15" model is priced between $2,399 and $2,799. Additional upgrades can add on an another $1,500.

Albu said that, for his business needs, a user environment centered around Office 365 and Surface tablets makes more sense. "As such, we don't plan to actively support other portables for now," he said.

Matt Metcalfe, director of information systems at Northwest Exterminating, agreed with this sentiment. "The cost of the device is prohibitive, so we're moving to Surface tablets," he said.

Similarly, Simon Johns, IT director at Sheppard Robson Architects LLP, said the new MacBook Pro "has no relevance for our design tools—it's expensive and not valid."

However, as TechRepublic news editor Conner Forrest reported, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo recently predicted that users can expect to see a refreshed MacBook Pro line with price cuts and greater memory offerings in the second half of 2017, which may make the devices more appealing to enterprise users.

For other tech leaders, the decision comes down to what their company has supported in the past. "Historically we have not supported Macs due to the walled garden ecosystem," said Jeff Kopp, technology coordinator at Christ the King Catholic School. "Requiring a dongle to use every piece of existing equipment is beyond unacceptable."

IT leaders who said their companies would support the 2016 MacBook Pro cited the device's usefulness for businesses already operating in an Apple environment.

"Despite the criticism on lack of ports, it will be the obvious next laptop for Mac power users," said Michael Spears, CIO and chief data officer at the National Council on Compensation Insurance.

The refreshed MacBook Pro no longer uses a MagSafe port to charge the device; instead, it can be charged using one of the four Thunderbolt 3 ports available on each core model. The retina display, multi-touch Touch Bar can adapt to different applications and websites could aid enterprise users in a variety of ways, including with video editing, composing emails, and previewing tabs in Safari.

This month's CIO Jury was:

  • Michael Spears, CIO and chief data officer, National Council on Compensation Insurance
  • Paul Furtado, vice president of IT operations, Lone Wolf Real Estate Technologies
  • David Wilson, director of IT services, VectorCSP
  • Simon Johns, IT director, Sheppard Robson Architects LLP
  • Florentin Albu, CIO, Ofgem E-Serve
  • Shane Milam, executive director of technology infrastructure services, Mercer University
  • Cory Wilburn, CIO, Texas General Land Office
  • David Baker, CTO, Fringe Benefit Group
  • Michael R. Belote, CTO, Mercer University
  • Jeff Kopp, technology coordinator, Christ the King Catholic School
  • Mike McGavock, CIO, NeoHealth
  • Matt Metcalfe, director of information systems, Northwest Exterminating

Want to be part of TechRepublic's CIO Jury and have your say on the top 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, click the Contact link below or email alison dot denisco at cbsinteractive dot com, and send your name, title, company, location, and email address.

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Image: Josh Miller/CNET

About Alison DeNisco Rayome

Alison DeNisco Rayome is a Staff Writer for TechRepublic. She covers CXO, cybersecurity, and the convergence of tech and the workplace.

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