IT professionals and Macs

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by luminosity, Jan 19, 2008.

  1. luminosity macrumors 65816

    luminosity

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2006
    Location:
    Arizona
    #1
    Can someone explain for me why IT folks and departments prefer not to use Macs? Is it because they simply wouldn't have jobs anymore, or be needed as much, or is it prejudice based on a reality that no longer exists? I know there are some who are fine with Macs, but in my own school district (where I work), the district insists on using PCs, which must have useless antivirus programs on them that slow the system down.
     
  2. redAPPLE macrumors 68030

    redAPPLE

    Joined:
    May 7, 2002
    Location:
    2 Much Infinite Loops
    #2
    imo, they are not well informed. some are afraid to "think different". they are in this comfort zone where they have no idea how to use macs.

    another thing is exchange server. once it is setup it would be hard to convince companies so use macs...
     
  3. Eric Piercey macrumors 6502

    Eric Piercey

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2006
    Location:
    Perpetual Bondage
    #3
    I don't think its so much that the majority of IT departments wouldn't prefer to use Macs, but more that Macs aren't necessarily suited to the task and are more expensive, especially on an enterprise level. Design houses, educational institutions, animation houses, etc often do prefer to use them.


    Want the short version? I can sum it up in one character, "$"
     
  4. srl7741 macrumors 68020

    srl7741

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2008
    Location:
    In my world
    #4
    Two words "Velcro Sneakers" I.T is not about service or even work. It's about making the MAN think they need you and constantly telling them they can't do something or something wont work. Protecting their own domain of DOING nothing all day long. God forbid learning something new or trying something different. Did i say that all out loud?

    Sorry bout that. In order for that to happen you will need someone who is not afraid to learn new things. You will need someone in charge of the I.T department who is a forward thinker and does not rest on the past.
     
  5. Eric Piercey macrumors 6502

    Eric Piercey

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2006
    Location:
    Perpetual Bondage
    #5
    That's such a load of crap. Have you ever tried to build an enterprise network from the ground up? You don't mess around with high maintenance poorly supported systems, and Apple is anything but a business platform. You want the cheapest cost, most easily supported, most flexible system out there. MS is also very strong as far as networking. Macs are both great for the average joe and awesome for pro's but too expensive and limited for large scale business use, and business use comprises the lions share of IT departments. The myth that IT people keep PC's in use for job security is a joke. Hell IT departments don't even call the shots in many companies, and they toss $millions$ per year down the drain as a result of non-technical execs making uninformed decisions based on advertising and sales pitches.
     
  6. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2006
    #6
    Like others have said it is not because they would lose there jobs. Hell I bet the IT staffs would still be about the same size because most of the things IT deparments do are not related to repairing and fixing computer.
    No most of there job is to keep the server updated.
    Keep users accounts up to date by adding new ones, remove old, and then what each account has access to.
    Move computers and servers to different location.
    Remote access and internet
    Keep the computer and the software on them updated.
    Put software on new computers.
    ect.

    Noticed everything on that list is not related to an OS at all. Going over to make would not remove most of their work load.

    I think the reason why is apple does not have exchanged, the locking out on the computer is more difficult to do and lastly software. OSX does not have a lot of the specialty software departments us.

    Apple would not remove the cost of AV software. They will still run it out of fear of emailing out a virus and opening themselves upto law suits and they do not want to run the remote risk of a virus/worm/trogan coming out for OSX and them not being protected.
     
  7. n8236 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2006
    #7
    I work in the helpdesk end a lot and it's very difficult to use OSX simply because I can't test what users are experiencing or follow what they are doing.

    Sure, I can use Parallels or Fusion to virtual into XP, but why not just BootCamp since it's faster :)
     
  8. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #8
    I work in IT for a college campus that has both Macs and Windows machines.

    Windows has Remote Desktop and Remote Assistance, which means we can do A LOT of stuff from our desk. Usually, unless it's a hardware problem, or huge software problem, we don't have to get off our lazy asses to fix something across campus. Remote Assistance is great for helping out users because we can see their screen and control their computer. You need to pay for Apple Remote Desktop, and I'm not even sure if there's a Mac equivalent of Remote Assistance. At least not something that's free. Both are built into Windows. With the Mac users, if they need assistance and they can't be walked through on the phone, or if they need something installed (which we, as administrators have to do), they need to wait for a technician to come out to their office. Depending on workload, this can take up to a week. With Windows, we can do it for them immediately when they call.

    Macs don't support our DFS network shares. Say what you want about it, but DFS is one of Microsoft's better products. It works great from a server standpoint, and it's even better from a user standpoint. Our users just love the fact that they can go back and restore old versions of files. And don't even mention Time Machine. We're not setting every Mac on campus up with an external drive. DFS's shadow copy is all server-side. The only way to get to the network drives on a Mac is using an SFTP client, and that's just cumbersome.

    There's no good Exchange client for Macs. Entourage is clunky. Mail doesn't support Exchange tasks, notes, contacts, calendars, directory, or anything else besides e-mail. Why Microsoft can't just port Outlook like they have with Word, PowerPoint and Excel is beyond me, but until there is such a thing, once again, Windows wins here.

    Most users have Windows at home. So they're comfortable with Windows at work. Why re-train them on the basics of OSX when they know their way around Windows? People say Macs are intuitive and easy to use, but I've answered what we here would consider dumb, newbie, RTFM-type questions from my coworkers in IT before regarding Macs. I question the intuitive-ness, especially when you've been used to Windows your entire life. There's a learning curve, just like anything else, and some people just have difficulty learning. It took them long enough to learn Windows, might as well let them keep using it. Saves us and them many headaches.

    Most of the software used by students and employees is Windows-only. The security guys, except under certain circumstances, will not allow dual boot or a virtual machine to be used, because the secondary OS, in this case Windows, is not running that often, and thus, may not get a chance to download Windows updates and new virus definitions. The Windows computers are usually up 24/7 so they get a chance to update everything. And it's just not cost prohibitive for people to have one of each.

    Finally, cost and upgradeability. The Windows PCs are cheaper. There's no denying that. And, we can upgrade just about everything besides the CPU without voiding Dell's warranty, so we can always throw in a larger hard drive or beefier video card and keep the computer in service a bit longer. And the PCs probably hold more RAM than the iMacs (the most common Mac on campus, very few professors have Mac Pros due to cost. There are a lot of MacBooks and MacBook Pros out there too, and some various PPC Macs as well, all of which have limited upgrade capabilities)
     
  9. UK-sHaDoW macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2007
    #9
    Its because its whats the rest of world is using. Integrating a mac into a majority windows network can be a bit daunting i.e exchange.

    I'm a computer scientist(Student), and I use mac theres nothing inherently wrong with using mac. A lot of my lectures have a mac. I know lots of It pro's that prefer mac. But they would not use it in a business environment.

    It also depends what your doing. A Unix terminal is very powerful and professional feature that windows does not come close to.

    There's also idiots.


    Theres no denying that windows has a strong hold on business client computers. We have a few linux +unix servers, so were not all windows. But on the client end 100% Windows.
     
  10. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    CT
    #10
    Most IT guys I know are a bunch of annoying jerks that don't want to hear of a better way to do something. No offense to any that may be in here.;)
     
  11. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2006
    #11

    It is so nice to finally hear some one post the real reason instead of the typical BS that we read saying IT is stupid ect like the poster above this one.

    It nice to have some one who works in doing IT work stated way OSX is not used.

    OSX is great for the home user but like you said in your post it is very poor in the business world and until apple starts putting in some of the more basic things windows has in it OSX will never be in that world. Apple clearly has no real interested in moving into that world.
     
  12. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    CT
    #12
    In my experiences with IT they don't like to be told what to do even if you have a better way to do it. Not saying that this is the case everywhere but they look down on Macs as they are not worthy of their time.

    Pull an IT guy out of his comfort zone and they get all weird.
     
  13. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #13
    Its because on most corporate networks, a Mac isn't a better way to do it. They just don't integrate too well on networks. That's where Windows wins. Macs do great in the home, that's their specialty. But on a large, corporate network, I hate to say it, but Windows is just better.

    At work, I have both a Mac and a Windows computer at my desk. You'd think I would use the Mac, but I don't. Windows, as crappy as it is, and as much as I hate it, just works better on the network. I use the Mac on my desk for 2 things. One is assisting callers who are on a Mac so I can sort of see what they're seeing and walk them through something. And the second is watching DVDs on my boring, long, 8 hour Saturday shift where I'm the only one working because my Windows box doesn't have a DVD drive.

    Perhaps Macs would do better if the entire network was comprised of Macs. But I don't think you'll find an all-Mac network in many corporate environments.
     
  14. abacus macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2003
    Location:
    Texas
    #14
    IT and Macs - the software perspective

    I see a lot of comments here are largely considering the hardware and infrastructure when they say "IT" - they indeed are major components in that realm, however, it is the software which is the lifeblood - or, the ultimate goal - of IT, IMO.

    IT, for most businesses is a business-enabler function, and not the core function (I am not talking about software houses here, of course). For the same reason, the amount of money spent on IT is generally less compared to the amount spent on core functions, and the mantra for IT is maximum ROI.

    How do you achieve it? Reduced hardware and infrastructure costs, maximum software availability and choice, avoid vendor lock-in etc etc. Apple, being the single vendor on Mac platform poses an immediate risk to many IT departments. The hardware cost is unfortunately much higher for Macs (the perpetual hue and cry about the lack of options between Mac Mini and Mac Pro, anyone? iMac is not a business machine IMO, considering the way the peripherals outlive the main computer in corporate environments) and the choice of development platforms in Mac is inferior as well.

    As some of the guys pointed out before, the software is being developed for the majority - which is Windows. What would you choose as your development platform in that case? We also have to consider that in this age, many businesses are thinking global - and once you step outside USA and probably some European countries, Mac is almost a non-existent platform. More so, in many of the new IT-heavy regions.

    I have stated my career on a Pentium PC (complete with a "turbo" button that boosts the CPU speed to a whole of 75MHz, no less!) and grown to a DELL with a fast processor and 4GB RAM. Honestly, once you live a decade in that environment, you naturally live to learn with it and I would say, except on a very few occasions, I have never seen or heard of major issues on Windows. Maybe most IT guys know how to deal with the systems and the support is almost always readily available.

    To me, it is the lack of flexible hardware options, comparatively smaller development software and single-vendor situation are the biggest problems for IT to move closer to Macs.
     
  15. scotthayes macrumors 68000

    scotthayes

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2007
    Location:
    Birmingham, England
    #15

    Just a guess here, but would I be right in thinking you are an enduser?
    Most of the people I know who work on IT support (and that number of people runs in to the hundreds as I'm a Microsoft technical instructor and teach 10-15 of them every week) would love nothing more than to solve every problem and do everything users wanted. The lack of a forward thinker has nothing to do with the reason why most businesses don't use Macs.

    You've pretty much hit the nail on the head.
     
  16. alFR macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2006
    #16
    Screen sharing is built into Leopard.

    If you had OS X servers then Mac clients would work fine with them, including Time Machine backups.

    Again, if you had OS X servers (or if Microsoft actually used an open standard for calendaring) it would work fine. The whole reason Macs don't interoperate that well with Windows networks is that Microsoft has gone out of its way to make everything proprietary and closed: if they adhered to a few more standards it would be fine.

    Your other points (cost, software, upgrades) are fair enough I suppose, although as an academic I find I can get on fine without Windows software - maybe other disciplines have different requirements though. The only problems I have day-to-day are where our IT staff have implemented something proprietary (e.g. using some proprietary VPN that doesn't work with the VPN clients built into either Windows or OS X). Sometimes they seem to go out of their way to make things difficult....
     
  17. oblomow macrumors 68020

    oblomow

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2005
    Location:
    Netherlands
    #17
    I consider myself an IT professional and for the last few years I have used (brought) my powerbook at work. I like it. But I agree that it doesn't integrate very well into the standard it environment. Indeed DFS doesn't work, major problem, however contractors with their company pc's also can't use it.

    I can contact the exchange server. Edit office documents (with neooffice, so there are still some compatibility problems.

    But best of all I have a unix machine on my desk. Scripting, ssh etc all work.

    So if you know what you're doing, prefer something that works, and can manage you're own stuff: it's great. Otherwise it doesn't integrate well into
    the standard (read: microsoft dominated) world.
     
  18. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #18
    We're running Tiger on the Macs. And I'm not sure if screen sharing works on computers in different subnets. Considering we have a class B network subnetted into /24 blocks, that's very important.

    And then our Windows computers wouldn't be able to access it.

    Again, the Windows clients would have difficulty. Besides, I don't think Apple has anything that comes close to the features that Exchange has.

    As I said before, you'd probably be fine in an all-Apple network. But if you're in a majority Windows network and have a few Macs, they're just not going to work as seamlessly as the Windows computers.

    No one in IT is going out of their way to make things difficult. IT people don't like making things difficult because then we get people bitching at us when things are difficult. Typically the decision to implement something comes from the guys at the top who know nothing about actual technology, they can only listen to sales pitches and read price tags. They implement something because they think it's cheaper.

    Take our network equipment for example. Everything on campus was Cisco. Our network engineers and technicians were trained on Cisco equipment, and most, if not all, have a Cisco certification. Those guys can configure a Cisco router or switch blindfolded with both hands tied behind their back. They decided to upgrade the equipment in the dorms. Someone high up in the university decided to buy Nortel equipment because it's cheaper. They didn't consult anyone in IT (and the network guys would've immediately said "no, buy Cisco") before spending thousands and thousands of dollars on this. Well, the networking guys had to get training on how to operate Nortel stuff, they had to redesign parts of the network that were using Cisco proprietary protocols, and then after all that, the Nortel stuff, compared to the Cisco stuff we have, is crap. I know on at least one occasion, a Nortel technician had to fly out from Philadelphia to fix their garbage because it just doesn't work right. But the decision makers don't see that, they just get whatever's cheapest (when in the end, we probably spent more money with training and extra hours fixing everything), even if it means inconveniencing everyone else.
     
  19. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2006
    #19
    while you tried to list counters there are several that you complete missed. The ablity to remotely install software server side and the push updates out that way.

    Just face the facts. Apples are great for the home user but in the business IT world they have way to many weakness to make them worth it. Hell they cost more money IT wise because you have to spend it sending people out to do some of the more basic things that on windows they can do sitting at there desk and do to multiple computers at one time.
    If it is a handful of computers then yeah it might be the same cost but when you get to large networks like most mid to large companies use then the problems start coming up.
     
  20. alFR macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2006
    #20
    Well, it works over teh intarwebs(TM) so I think it'll work on different subnets on a LAN. Haven't tried that myself though.


    What, they don't support SMB? :)

    I agree 100%: I just think that's mainly Microsoft's fault, not Apple's.

    That's probably 100% true here as well.

    OS X server lets you remotely push updates/installs to OS X clients. You can even remotely reimage whole systems if you want to.
     
  21. Eric Piercey macrumors 6502

    Eric Piercey

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2006
    Location:
    Perpetual Bondage
    #21
    Oh hello..pull anyone out of their comfort zone and they get all weird. IT is a very wide field ranging from network engineering to application coding. Apple simply isn't a business platform, and to become so would be a very large scale expensive long term endeavor on Apple's part. A complete refocus for them.

    It's common sense. You have a million dollar budget for hardware and support for this year. You can get all of your machines with everything you need and have 300k left over for misc. or you can go Apple and be overbudget, have half the things you need, and no support.. as well as have to redevelop or develop all of your in-house applications. No way in hell, right? Case closed. It's not about IT pro's holding Apple down- quite the contrary. Most IT pros I know including myself love Apple, but at the same time we're rational by nature and don't let marketing dictate logic.

    If I were putting together the hardware platform for photographers, graphic designers, video editors I'd go with Apple because I know damn well that Apple workstations last many years with few issues and are well worth the added initial cost. No brainer. If I'm putting together the hardware platform for browser, presentation, spreadsheet, word processor, and email users who occasionally need Visio or Photoshop (common examples) I'm going with the very cheapest solution with the best support plan.

    This whole myth of IT departments keeping Apple out of the mainstream because its just too reliable is downright laughable, I'm sorry. When the people I support at work ask me what computer to buy for home I always recommend Apple -but with the caveat that if all they do is browse and do email and word processing that this would be an aesthetic choice.

    edit: I just want to restate something I mentioned earlier and that yg17 hammered on... most decisions are not made by techno savvy IT people, but rather VP's that know jack squat about the real world cost benefit of their decisions. They often don't even consult with IT or if so its the VPs in IT and hell a lot of VP's in IT aren't even tech savvy and or they're from irrelevant areas of IT. Remember IT is very wide. Your hardware specialist is a nerd... and is very rarely going to ascend to high levels of power. You execs are first and foremost highly motivated, ego driven, competitive, type A personalites who can't be bothered to waste time on "specifics." Their speciality (aside from backstabbing their way upward) is utilizing and managing "leveraging" as they like to say, the labor (the nerds/worker bees.) Execs love to play with (and break) toys, and ask most of them and they'll proclaim themselves bigtime techno geeks, but most of them really aren't. These are the people who make the big decisions not the IT guys you're familiar with who are just peons like you.
     
  22. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #22
    Fair enough, I guess. I have no proof to support either way

    Don't Macs use AFP?

    It's nobody's fault. It's just the fact that they're 2 completely different platforms. If you had an all-Mac network and stuck a few Windows PCs in there and discovered that things didn't integrate well, no one here would be saying it's Apple's fault.
     
  23. jtown macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2003
    #23
    Wouldn't have any work? Bwahahahahahahahahahahahahaha! <deep breath> Bwahahahahahahahahahahahahaha! Whoa. Now I'm all dizzy. I support both and lemme tell ya: The Macs give me the more of those noodle-scratching WTF problems than any PC.

    Don't get me wrong. I love Macs. I own one. My main machine at work is a Mac. But computers are just tools. The only thing that sets a Mac apart from a PC [in my company] is the OS and OSX has plenty of bugs and quirks that can make it a challenge to deploy and maintain in a production environment. All of the software that our Mac users run is available on the PC. Having Macs is just inertia from long before I got here.

    I'd prefer to have a single environment to support. One model of PC running one version of windows. But it's not to be. I have PCs from Celerons to Xeons running Win98 to Vista. I have Macs from G3s to Xeons running 9.x to 10.4. If I could wipe out one or the other to focus exclusively on a single architecture, I'd be all for it. It would have to be PC/Windows, though because we have a number of Windows applications that aren't available on the Mac. The same can't be said for our Mac software. The benefit would be a reduction in scope. You can know a little about a lot or a lot about a little. It's a balance.

    The more hardware and software a department has to support, the lower the quality of support will be across the board. It's not an attitude or prejudice issue. It's reality.
     
  24. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #24
    Well said.

    And to anyone who says IT people use Windows to keep a job, I say BS ;) Whenever you have computers, you have users. And whenever you have users, you have problems. The ID10T error is a cross platform, universal error ;)
     
  25. gescom macrumors regular

    gescom

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2007
    Location:
    Westerville, OH.
    #25
    I just think it comes down to the IT guys having to know two different OS's simultaneously. That itself presents an issue of $ to not only support but to seek talent that would be more costly than a limited to one OS at a time IT guy for businesses. I see much value in the Macs for our marketing and graphics groups. I am an IT guy at my firm and as I learn more about Macs you bet your a$$ I am adding that to my resume of experience for a bump in change. :cool:
     

Share This Page