The real reason Macs never got in the enterprise

Summary:ZDNet's Ed Bott recently gave six reasons why the Mac never made it in the enterprise. But I saw the real reason when I proposed bringing a single Mac into my company: IT is crazy.

In 2002 my marketing group was preparing its first product launch, which meant media production for web, print, audio and video. Then, as now, most media people preferred the Mac.

So I proposed bringing a single Mac into marketing for that purpose. And I saw for myself why Macs hadn't made it into the enterprise.

Batsh*t crazy!
The IT director went nuts. Long ranting emails that came down to no how, no way! Most of Ed's six reasons were offered up, but they didn't matter.

I tried reason.

Support? As an experienced tech marketing group we had people who could support the Mac. Like we'd call people who knew nothing anyway. No!

Network? Connection to the pre-Wi-Fi network was out of the question. OK, we'll sneakernet media from network connected PCs to the Mac. No!

Windows-only apps? We didn't have any.

Cost? Covered by my budget. No! All the gnarly hidden costs! Such as? They couldn't name any but they KNEW they were there.

Bottom line: IT didn't care what compromises I was willing to make or the facts of media production on Windows XP. There was no way a Mac would be allowed on the premises.

Defeat
Finally the CEO asked me to give up the Mac idea. IT had been ranting to him as well and he didn't have time for it.

Nor did I. In any event engineering slipped and that announcement never happened.

The Storage Bits take
Ed's 6 reasons are just a rehash of the FUD that IT groups everywhere throw up against the Mac. The fact that Mac support was and is less costly than Windows support made no difference. 

That users are more productive on a Mac even today - not least because they aren't calling support every week - who cares?

Malware? Under control! Until it isn't.

Hardware cost? Not much of a difference, then or now, on equivalent configurations of similar quality.

That almost a third of Windows users are still on 12 year old XP while almost all Mac users are on a three year old or younger version? Not a problem, because, well, uh. . . .

Macs never made it into the enterprise because IT groups were universally and emotionally opposed. The real "reasons" are emotional rather than technical.

IT organizations hate change because it screws up the smooth running of IT. So they reflexively fight all change.

Most of the time they lose. In the 70s IT fought minicomputers. In the 80s PCs. They fought PC networks. BYOD, cloud computing and pretty much every other advance in IT over the last 40 years.

If it were up to IT we would still be running everything on IBM mainframes in batch mode. Data access through a locked-down hierarchical SNA network only.

The Mac? That was a battle IT won.

And users - like me - lost.

Comments welcome, as always. What's your experience?

 

Topics: Apple, Windows

About

Harris has been working with computers for over 35 years and selling and marketing data storage for over 30 in companies large and small. He introduced a couple of multi-billion dollar storage products (DLT, the first Fibre Channel array) to market, as well as a many smaller ones. Earlier he spent 10 years marketing servers and networks.... Full Bio

zdnet_core.socialButton.googleLabel Contact Disclosure

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Related Stories

The best of ZDNet, delivered

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
Subscription failed.