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The 3 Things You Must Do Before the Mac Invades your Enterprise

Client Computing | Posted on August 13, 2013 by Joseph Byer

Due to the growing demand for Apple products, more companies have given the green light on to the Mac. Forrester has estimated that almost 50% of North American and Western European companies now issue a Mac to their employees. Our “How to Decide if Your Organization is Apple-Ready” infographic also highlights a number of factors that are driving the enterprise Mac invasion.

Although more professionals are using the Mac for work, many IT departments fail to include them in their managed fleets. If you do the bare minimum when it comes to managing your company’s Mac fleet, you may face security breaches, data loss and difficulty providing Mac users with prompt help desk support.

Whether you’re considering allowing the Mac or already allow them but don’t manage them, it’s crucial to perform a company-wide Mac assessment. Here are the top three things you must do to decide if your organization is Mac-ready:

1. Ask employees if they’re already using Apple technology at work, to do work.
Chances are you have more Mac users in your company than you think. Forrester reported that 21% of information workers use at least one Apple product for work. This means that many of your employees may be using the Mac to access corporate data – with or without your knowledge.

One of the easiest ways to find out which employees are already using the Mac is to ask them. Create a short online survey and email employees the link. Include questions such as:

  • Do you use a Mac for personal use?
  • How likely would you be to use a Mac for work if given the option?
  • How do you currently get support for your Mac?
  • How would you like to receive support when using a Mac for work?

2. Run metrics to see who is using Apple products.

If your employees won’t respond to a survey, run metrics on your Outlook Web Access (OWA) domain to learn which browsers and operating systems they use to access email from home. A quick look at your OWA emails will also show you who’s using OS or iOS.

Tools such as Google Analytics will also give you insight into what computers and mobile devices your employees use at home.

These steps will give you a good indication of who is familiar with Apple’s ecosystem. For example, if employees are using either an iPhone or an iPad, they will probably be comfortable with Mac OS.

3. Assess your strategy to determine the best way to support the Mac.

Once you learn how many Mac users are within your company, you’ll have a better idea of whether you need to support them. If only a handful of employees prefer the Mac, it might not make sense to create a strategy just for them. However, if a large percentage of employees want to use a Mac at work, supporting them would make them more productive.

If employees already bring a Mac to work, ask how you currently support them. For example, do you give them access to email and basic services but then leave them alone?

Many IT departments make the mistake of adopting a “set it and forget it” policy, where they allow employees to bring in a Mac but then fail to check in with them over time. This often leads to IT overwhelm when a Mac breaks and IT doesn’t know how to fix it. It’s important to create a support system for the Mac, instead of treating every issue on a user-by-user basis.

A Mac support strategy makes life easier for both IT and the user. Support options include:

  • Provide Mac users with an internal social community. This reduces the amount of time IT must spend supporting Macs, as Mac users help each other through their social network.
  • Set up a website that explains OS X and how it works in a corporate environment. Then, have Mac users refer to the site if they have a question or need basic troubleshooting information. This will reduce calls to your help desk.

Are you Mac-ready?
Check out the “How to Decide if Your Organization is Apple-Ready” infographic for a quiz that takes you through the key questions you must ask before adding a Mac to your BYOD policy.

Plus, take advantage of a Softchoice SaaS TechCheck to see exactly how many of your employees use the Mac or other Apple products to access corporate data. This will give you insight into whether supporting the Mac will enhance employee productivity throughout your company.

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