Take THAT, Microsoft - IBM is switching to the Mac

IBM is switching to the Mac! IBM is switching to the Mac! Microsoft is DOOMED! Ok, maybe not so much, but IBM's Mac pilot program outlines a great way for your company to decide about how to upgrade software or switch platforms. Read on.

Yes, I know - what an overly dramatic title. But if you checked out some of the other blog entries surrounding the article in RoughlyDrafted about IBM's Mac pilot program you'd think that IBM was tossing every ThinkPad it could find into the dumpsters (or worse) and bringing in MacBook Pro's left and right.

IBM only launched a test program with 24 users. Based on a successful first test, IBM wants to expand that program to possibly another 100 users. Plus, it has an online support group that totals a little over 900 members. That's out of a total of almost 390,000 employees. That's hardly a mass migration worthy of such breathless posts.

Even so - there's something to be found for IT leaders in that article. That's a template for a migration plan that you can use in your organization for any piece of software. IBM found a small core of users that could test the platform. They identified issues such as software compatibility, usability, and end user satisfaction and created a plan to deal with those issues in subsequent tests. Finally, based on the initial outcomes, they decided to test a little further. This type of testing takes time, but gives organizations a chance to identify problems before huge investments are made.

This is a model that you can use if your company employs 390,000 people or 39 people. Don't randomly roll out new hardware or software without some testing and planning. Identify key people in your organization who are unbiased, reliable, and knowledgeable enough to help you in your testing. Identify any problems and obstacles, see if there's a way to get around them, and then keep testing. When you're done, you might be able to make big headlines for your company as well.