In a classic example of the ‘tipping point’, a research firm which once advised enterprises they need only support Windows, now urges companies embrace Macs. “Stand in the way of Apple users,” the firm says, “and you will eventually get run over.”
The turn-around by Forrester Research comes after the company discovered Mac users to be more productive than others enterprise workers yet 41 percent of businesses block Mac computers from even the most basic of network services, such as email access.
“It’s time to repeal prohibition and take decisive action,” the firm’s David Johnson writes in a new report. “Mac users are your HEROes and you should enable them not hinder them.” The Forrester acronym describes Highly Empowered and Resourceful Operatives which comprise 17 percent of IT workers. This class of enterprise employees “find innovative ways to be more productive and serve customers more effectively.”
Just three years ago, Forrester was advising its business clients that “Macs pose too many problems for IT departments. The verdict for enterprise-class vendors is clear: Unless your market is a niche business group, Windows is the only desktop you need support.”
Now, however, Forrester views employees who bring their Macs to work as the “power laptop user.” According to the firm’s newest Workforce Technology and Engagement Survey, 44 percent of this group make more money, are more collaborative and carry an average of three devices wherever they go. Unlike its previous description of Macs making problems for enterprises, the company now says Macs are used in offices by executives, sales reps “and other workaholics.”
So what’s an enterprise to do? First off, brush off the old moto about time is money. Mac power users don’t want to idle for long periods, waiting for the PC to load all sorts of management and security applications just to start work. Mac users are accustomed to quick boot-ups, particularly if they have a solid-state drive, an increasingly common storage method on Apple devices.
Another recommendation: get rid of the cheapo plastic PCs that appear more PlaySkool than Park Avenue. Mac power users know about quality, such as the brush aluminum unibody construction of MacBooks or the crystal clear displays found on iMacs. Forrester offers four more tips on how to ease Macs into the enterprise” in their $499 report.