While many IT organizations continue to struggle to incorporate Apple Macs in the workplace, new research from Forrester shares the secrets to success from firms that have blazed the trails and figured out how to support both employee-owned and company-owned Macs. Hint: Leave the Windows PC management tools and techniques in the toolbox. It’s easy to understand why I&O pros sometimes apply the same techniques and tools they are familiar with in the Windows world for managing Macs, but the reality is that they are different animals, and what is a best practice for one is irrelevant for the other — and can even cripple worker productivity. In order to successfully support Macs in the enterprise, Forrester recommends that organizations:

  • Set up a parallel Mac management infrastructure.
  • Avoid Windows-centric management solutions for Macs.
  • Invest in Mac management expertise.
  • Modernize your enterprise application portfolio.

In a blog post detailing his new report, Senior Analyst David Johnson notes that Forrester did run into some surprises in its research: notably, that “Mac admins are divided on whether antivirus offers them any value on the Mac. Their reasoning: Mac viruses are infrequent enough that they are not a problem for them to deal with. When they do see one, it’s usually a trojan and difficult to eradicate with antivirus tools anyway. They also see antivirus tools as both heavy to manage and impactful to end user productivity. Many feel that patching tools, a regular and fully automated backup program, and a strong recovery toolset are more effective in dealing with the risk than antivirus software.”