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Forrester to your IT dept: Let them use Macs

November 1, 2011 No Comments

Forrester made some waves in the IT world when it released a report strongly urging large enterprise companies to let their employees use Macs at work, or as they phrased it “it’s time to repeal prohibition.” That’s kind of a big deal since the analyst firm has for years recommended the exact opposite. So why the sudden change?

Employees are not only asking IT departments for Macs at work, they’re bringing their own into the office. The Forrester report finds that 22 percent of enterprise businesses foresee the use of Macs owned by employees “increasing significantly.” But at the same time 41 percent of those same companies don’t allow those employees to access e-mail or the company network on those machines, either at the office or from home. As analyst David Johnson writes, that just encourages people to spend their own time figuring out how to bypass these rules:

That leaves a lot of employees to find their own ways to get around corporate prohibition. Companies Forrester spoke with for this document described a gray market emerging internally, where employees share tips and strategies to use their Macs at work and bypass corporate roadblocks.

Forrester says you may as well let Mac users have them out in the open and accessible to the network at work since their study shows that people who want to work on MacBooks, for instance, classify as a “power notebook user.” To them that means those employees are the ones that work longer and are more productive. Another reason for the change of heart: Forrester says Macs “have developed a reputation for reliability and low maintenance.” What IT person in charge of the budget doesn’t want to hear that?

But while the guys managing desktop and laptop deployment may still need to get with the program, the teams managing mobile IT have already seen the light on letting employees have input on their devices. Since the arrival of the iPhone and Android smartphones, this same phenomenon has been taking place. A group of mobile IT specialists talked about it at GigaOM Mobilize in San Francisco last month.

Julie Palen, SVP of Tangoe, says that a great percentage of employees are not asking their employers for a corporate phone. They don’t mind paying for a device or the plan as long as they can use a device of their choice and access the company network, she said.

Read Full Article at Gigaom

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