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

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