IBM CIO: Mac users perform better, more engaged than Windows users

IBM CIO Fletcher Previn has a massive Mac deployment and has curated a few performance and engagement metrics that go beyond total cost of ownership and support.

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IBM said it now has more than 290,000 Apple devices, a Mac@IBM program and is gathering employee engagement data based on the programs. The upshot is that macOS users deliver better performance and are more engaged, according to IBM.

Speaking at the Jamf Nation User Conference (JNUC), IBM CIO Fletcher Previn outlined the following:

  • There are 22% more macOS users who exceeded expectations in performance reviews compared to Windows users.
  • MacOS users tend to close sales deals that are 16% larger than Windows users.
  • MacOS users are 17% less likely to leave IBM compared to Windows.
  • 5% of macOS users ask for additional software compared to 11% of Windows users.

Previn also found that macOS users and devices require 7 engineers to support 200,000 macOS devices vs. 20 engineers to support 200,000 Windows devices. IBM has about 150,000 Macs with the remainder of the Apple devices are iPhones and iPads.

The data is interesting but it may highlight a correlation as causation issue. Did macOS really drive performance of the individual or were there other factors involved?

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Nevertheless, Jamf CEO Dean Hager said Previn's data and deployments of Mac highlight overall traction with Apple devices in the enterprise. He said Apple's iPhone, iPad and now Mac are becoming enterprise staples. Jamf makes enterprise deployment and management software for Apple products.

"Mac is growing rapidly in the enterprise in part due to the Windows 7 to Windows 10 transition," he said. "Why move from Windows 7 to Windows 10 when you can do something bigger to promote choice?"

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IBM launched its Mac@IBM program in 2015 with 1,900 Mac devices deployed per week. By 2016, IBM had more than 90,000 Macs deployed. Previn said that IBM's total cost of ownership over four years saved anywhere from $273 to $543 per Mac compared to a PC.

In 2018, IBM open-sourced its provisioning process with the Mac deployment program.

Going forward, the development to watch is whether Apple's iPad family of devices begins to replace the Mac in deployments. Hager said the iPad use cases are more industry-specific such as a retail point-of-sale terminal, health care or transportation, but that could change. He noted that either way, Apple would still gain in the enterprise. 

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