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Apple Mac grows in the enterprise

A survey of IT administrators conducted by the Enterprise Desktop Alliance has revealed that Apple Macs will be the fastest-growing systems in the enterprise sector through 2011.

The report determines that end users are perceiving the value of increased productivity facilitated by the Mac and discovering the tools to integrate Macs into their current management environment.

The EDA predicts that Macs will grow their enterprise market share from 3.3 per cent of all
systems in 2009 to 5.2 per cent in 2011, and arguably of greater significance, more than 25 per cent of all new systems to be added in the enterprise during that period will be Macs.

Much of the growth in Macs will happen in organisations that already have Apple hardware installed, the researchers say, with the median percentage of Macs in those organisations to double from 5 per cent to 10 per cent. In addition 65 per cent of survey respondents had at least some Macs in their organisation, and the number of organisations with a measurable proportion of Macs will grow to 70 per cent by the end of 2011. While growth in computers overall will soften from 6.1 per cent in 2010 to 2.9 per cent in 2011, Macs will show 40 per cent and 23 per cent contrarian growth in those years respectively.

In a related survey conducted in January of 2010 by the Enterprise Desktop Alliance, IT administrators in sites that had Macs identified their major issues with the platform, 81 per cent saying that parity in integration and management between Macs and PCs is important. In looking more closely, file-sharing among systems and security emerged as the leading concerns.

Among the issues that ranked as "very" or "extremely" important to the respondents were:
* File Sharing between Operating Systems: 79 per cent
* Security: 79 per cent
* Client management (inventory, patches, compliance): 72 per cent
* Active Directory integration: 66 per cent
* Cross-platform help desk and knowledge base support 60 per cent

"With increased numbers of Macs, IT management is finding ways to get control," commented T. Reid Lewis, president of Group Logic, a founding member of the Enterprise Desktop Alliance. "Solutions that extend Windows management to the Mac let organisations
leverage their current administration to accommodate the Mac."

In other results from the January 2010 survey, IT administrators who had both Macs and PCs reported that Macs are less expensive to manage, easier to configure, require less time training and troubleshooting, and generate fewer help desk support calls than Windows systems.