Integrating Mac’s Into Your Business Environment
Apple seems to be growing in popularity in the IT industry and will need to be part of any web hosting company’s future or even current day-to-day operations. Especially if employees are entering the workplace with the famous white colored MacBookPro’s or MacBook Airs. Apple has most likely accelerated this push into the IT industry by lowering pricing on some models. Apple also offers Operating System upgrades free of charge and complimentary iWork upgrades. The problem can thus result in compatibility problems with current software and apps running on “tried and true” hardware. Integrating Mac’s into your business environment will have a few snags along the way.
As it had already begun with the iPhone and iPad, the notebooks will not be far behind if not already in the workplace trying to fit in comfortably. According to Nemertes Research, Macs have mostly caused issues with incompatibility and managing Macs in the office network. However, Apple has addressed this issue in order to get more than just a foot in the door to the IT office workplace. Popular software used on PC’s is compatible with Macs and many office tools are browser-based which allows support on both OSs.
Many hosting providers have a BYOD system in place. However, many times this also includes the MacBook Air as it is able to sneak in as a mobile device. (More so the 11inch model.) Integrating Mac’s into your business environment has, in fact, most likely already happened.
Security is also a cause for concern as most office environments are set up for Windows-based security. Adding the Apple Maverick’s OS is possibly going to add complications to the mix. Security experts should be made aware of the difference in both systems and how they can be secure as well as the other. Even though Macs had a reputation as not being targeted by hackers or viruses and other malicious software/code, this is no reason to believe Macs are 100% secure all the time and never experience bad things from happening.
The end user or office worker still needs to be part of the equation in completing the “security circle.” Apple has security updates just like everybody else and needs to be updated quickly, not next week for example. Applying policies, patches and authentication protocols need to be carried out just like with current Windows systems.
Implementing only Apple products will be different in that you will need to make sure all current software and applications are compatible as well as what the cost will be including the refresh cycle for new hardware purchases. Apple hardware does tend to have a longer depreciating time than PCs. Taking the time to make sure all employees are familiar with the Apple OS and if not, time will need to be set aside for teaching co-workers the new software.
Even applications that are web-based need to be thoroughly tested before Integrating Mac’s into your business environment. It may be advisable to inquire about return policies should the switch to an Apple working environment not be feasible. Many software and app developers have two versions of the same software. Parallels also make software that can run Windows software on the Apple Operating System should that be a viable alternative.
Take it Slow
However, you do not want to end up spending valuable office time on a daily basis trying to perform basic tasks that would otherwise be done quickly before the Apple OS change. A slow implementation would be best. This way older and more familiar hardware can remain in place and be used for basic and critical or time-sensitive tasks.
It is important to note that if documents are going to be transferred to other computers, compatibility is vital. As with iWork, even though documents may look fine on a Mac, it could be illegible or incompatible on PCs. Certain formats such as PDF conversion would work, however staying in an editable spreadsheet format may pose problems. Microsoft Office is available for both Mac’s and PC’s as well as popular tax software. Other specific software will need to be investigated depending on each hosting company’s specific needs.
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