Why CIOs are saying no to Macs.

For many members of the CIO Jury, it’s not a judgment on the performance of the OS itself but rather a recognition of the prohibitive costs involved in such a change.

A nice article because it actually discusses a valid concern for why an organization would not want to switch to Macs.

While numerous studies have shown Macs to be more productive, support costs to be lower, and user satisfaction in general to be much higher, those gains come only after the fact. To get there, a potentially painful bridge must be crossed between Windows and Mac OS. It comes down to the measure of long-term gains vs. short-term headaches. It would be unreasonable for any CIO not to consider this.

We want to think senior management will think through the long haul, but the reality is short-term thinking rules the day, and that’s not always a sin. An expensive switch is hard to justify, especially with stockholders breathing down your neck. Any CIO discussing costs of the switch is at least arguing a point worth considering. It’s when an organization brings up Microsoft talking points, such as security, that I feel they haven’t honestly considered a Mac approach.

Posted via web from The Small Wave.

2 thoughts on “Why CIOs are saying no to Macs.

  1. As an IT manager, I’ve seen similar internal studies at two different companies. They all echo comments from this article. However, people should realize that most IT organizations are under tremendous burdens with a list of outstanding projects that need attention such as network / infrastructure upgrades, various other system and database patches, server migrations and most importantly new application development or upgrades to larger ERP based systems. These are all requirements that have a stronger need and ultimately have a higher return on investment.

    People don’t realize the costs associated with switching platforms. I’ve seen the analysis and the cost is enormous. It’s not a simple matter of buying new hardware and slapping on a Microsoft version of Office. That cost is trivial by comparison. The much larger costs are the upgrades to middleware that doesn’t exist on the Mac platform. It’s the retrofitting and ultimately replacing all of the various larger custom or industry specific application that doesn’t exist on Macs. As someone who prefers Macs but has seen actual case studies on the topic, I would agree with the CIOs who say the switch to Macs just can’t be justified.

    With that said, if I were an organization who was contemplating switching platforms, I’d make it happen over something like a 10 year period. No future Windows only solutions would be permitted. All ERP based applications would be hosted on UNIX servers with a web front end (sort of like Oracle’s PeopleSoft applications, etc.). Over that time period, I’d make infrastructure as platform neutral as possible. Half way through that process, I’d begin to slowly phase in Macs in smaller areas where possible and build lessons learned and proper support and administrative procedures around the platform, etc. In short, it can be done, but it’s nothing that can be done for most organizations within a reasonable timeframe or budget.

  2. Sounds reasonable to me. I’m sure our small lab of engineers and researchers is basically in the same position: we stick to Windows/.NET because it gets the job done and it really would be loads of extra to work to go all Mac, especially with the sticker shock of the hardware rollout, not to mention re-writing all of our internal apps, etc. But hey, maybe my next project can be an mobile app targeting the largest advanced mobile platform, the iPhone. For now I’ll just have to dream.

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