Macs in the Enterprise?
There’s a small, but growing, group of people that are willing to purchase their own computing devices and software required to be compatible with their Windows-based colleagues, forego most of the help provided by their employers’ IT service desks, figure out how to gain access to exposed enterprise services and pass the secrets along to others willing to march to a different drummer.
And yet, while such individuals oftentimes represent those that are most likely to develop the breakthroughs on which their businesses depend, enterprise IT’s overwhelming response has been to make it difficult for such employees to co-exist in the neighborhood.
Up until now, that’s been the collective opinion of big business and research organizations focused on such matters. But with a report just issued by David K. Johnson at Forrester (it’s US$499 for those who don’t subscribe), they have now decided that “It’s time to repeal prohibition and take decisive action.”
It didn’t take but a moment for people like Philip Elmer-Dewitt (he’s the editor of Apple 2.0 over at Fortune.com) to notice and push out a terrific article entitled Hell freezes over: Forrester urges IT to support the Mac in which he correctly highlight’s Forrester’s analysis saying that “Mac users are your HEROes and you should enable them not hinder them.” HERO is Forrester’s acronym for Highly Empowered and Resourceful Operatives – in short, your star performers.
So while there’s lots of legitimate reasons why it’s harder to include Macs in a Windows-centric enterprise, rather than just exclude them, it seems like there’s a real opportunity to capitalize on the phenomenon and find ways to capture the value that’s available at the intersection of employee productivity, employee owned assets and employee creativity.