For IT managers, the ability to run Windows on a Mac machine is just the first in the long road towards ensuring that Mac machines deployed in the enterprise behave in a manner that is supported by the IT organization.
One of the benefits of having a single operating environment is the ability to have a consistent set of rules, processes and tools to enable a stable management of individual desktops connected to the network. In an environment where you have Mac OSX and Windows machine, IT administrators need a way to centrally configure and control the virtual desktop. Pre-configuring virtual machines allows "lights-out" deployment, saving significant time because new Macs can be deployed in a matter of minutes instead of hours or days using standard Mac management tools.
Conversely, organisations that use the Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) need a solution that provides comprehensive management of Macs and PCs with ease.
But finding and managing Macs on a Windows-dominant environment is only part of the IT administrator's job. The other part is managing the Windows application on Macs. IT needs to be able to manage the delivery of policy-compliant Windows stack to Mac users. Everything needs to be centralized in SCCM.
BYOD has enabled Apple to infiltrate the once-Windows only enterprise environment starting with iOS devices like iPhones and iPads. It is inevitable that other non-Windows devices will infiltrate the enterprise. A study by Forrester Research, "2013 Mobile Workforce Adoption Trends" surmises that enterprises are forging ahead with mobile devices and cloud apps to get work done in the most efficient and beneficial way possible.
"Going forward, Apple will continue to benefit from consumerisation and will continue to evolve Macs to take on more iOS characteristics, which will contribute to the increased acceptance of Macs in the enterprise," said David Mitchell Smith, vice president at Gartner. "Hence, enterprise acceptance of Apple will continue to be driven by consumer demand."
This assessment is a 'given' these days, with the seemingly increasing popularity of BYOD, which is largely driven by smartphones and also flourishing in tablets and personal computers.
Eugenio Ferrante is head of marketing and sales, Parallels Cross-Platform Applications, Asia Pacific.
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