MacBook Air

As more workers bring Macs into the office, IT departments need to provide official supportPhoto: CNET

IT departments need to support the growing number of end users choosing to bring Apple Macs into the office, according to a report by analysts at Forrester.

The use of employee-owned Apple Mac computers is expected to increase significantly in 22 per cent of enterprises surveyed by Forrester.

Despite this, 41 per cent of companies said they don’t allow Mac users to access email or the company network from either work or home.

According to the report, professional end users are willing to spend their own money on a work device because their corporate PCs are considered too slow. Professionals also want to maintain their personal image and ‘personal brand’.

In place of corporate support, employees are finding ways to bring Macs into the office and bypass restrictions imposed on Mac users, with many using Apple’s Genius bars as their IT support.

Analysts at Forrester said businesses should support rather than hinder Mac users, as the report found that staff who brought their own work computers were more likely to work longer hours and spend a greater proportion of time working from home.

Supporting these ‘power workers’ could therefore offset the additional costs to the IT department incurred by supporting Mac users.

Macs were also reported to be more reliable and require less maintenance than corporate PCs which could lower IT maintenance costs in the long term.

The report advises that IT departments should foster a self-supporting community of Mac users and keep the majority of responsibility in the end user’s hands, while providing compatibility to corporate software through virtual machines and Windows file-sharing.