Once the domain of Microsoft’s Windows, enterprise software solutions have increasingly become available for the Mac. And even though Apple’s market share is still less than PC, according to AppleInsider, Mac enterprise sales during the most recent quarter grew by a whopping 66 percent. By contrast, the PC market only grew 4.5 percent overall in the enterprise.
Much of Apple’s success has been the result of two important factors: OS X and iOS.
Here at the Journyx blog, we kind of like to talk about business software. So when it comes to the different operating systems, what’s the best choice?
First, a History Lesson
When Apple released Mac OS X, it was a radical departure from the legacy Mac OS. OS X was based on NeXTSTEP, a UNIX-type operating system that was developed by Steve Jobs’ company, NeXT. When Apple acquired NeXT and its OS, it provided a modern foundation that was easier to develop applications for and that was more standards-compliant.
In spite of Apple’s newfound success with OS X, it was Apple’s foray into the mobile world that led the company to its current success, thanks to the widespread adoption of its iOS platform. As iOS continued to attract users and developers alike, companies that had previously hesitated to support Apple’s products suddenly had new incentive to do so.
Because OS X and iOS shared a common heritage and underlying code, as iOS gained market share, it became more financially viable to support iOS and, in many cases, its desktop sibling.
The Right Software
So just how well integrated are software solutions to the Mac platform? Many solutions are now not only available for local-install, but have cloud options as well. If the solution you’re looking at hasn’t developed such a way of integrating into the Mac platform, they shouldn’t be considered at all. As far as my company is concerned, because of our use of open standards (and because I’m a developer at heart), our Web-based time-tracking software is fully supported through Mac OS X’s Safari Web browser, as well as Mozilla Firefox.
Software Security in the Internet Age
Here’s where it gets interesting. No matter if you’re considering installing business software in the cloud or on your own servers, taking a step back and looking at the installation from the perspective of both Mac and PC is not to be taken lightly, and definitely should be considered at the outset of the buying process.
As far as software security is concerned, especially if you’re going to be installing the solution locally, PC beats Mac. With the ability to tailor a PC to any which way needed to make the software –and the OS itself—be well-protected from attacks and run smoothly, PC is the winning choice here.
According to The Tennessean, “you just can’t lock down a Mac as tightly as you can a PC. Period. That’s why you notice more home users with Macs and more employees of companies with PCs, who need far more customization to protect credit card information, health care documents, etc.”
However, if you’re looking at this debate from a virus protection standpoint, Mac stands far above PC.
Business Insider, citing security company AVG, said, “Since there are still fewer Macs than Windows computers out there, Apple’s platform is still a bit more secure”.
Additionally, since the Mac OS is built on Unix, by default it stands to be more secure than Windows where viruses are concerned. However, and this is important, the average number of virus attacks per year is steadily increasing for Mac operating systems; it’s still of paramount importance that you make sure your hard drive, as well as your software installation –be local or in the cloud—is protected.
Local-Installation or Cloud?
Speaking of local or in the cloud – which choice is best? This one can’t be answered definitely, and it’s different for each company. But by looking at the amount of data breaches in the past year, it’s a debate that needs to be carefully considered for your business before you purchase a software solution.
In the cloud, you have the opportunity to have your software upgraded at the point of release, as well as access to bug fixes, better security installations in place, and if your own company experiences a breach, your data within that software is still safe.
That being said, you need to vet the company running the software in the cloud. Making sure they’re SOC compliant is a good place to start.
As for a local install, this is only to be considered if you have a brilliant IT team keeping things running smoothly at your headquarters. Then, and only then, can you consider installing a software solution locally.
The days of Apple users being left out in the cold are a thing of the past. Thanks to modern architecture, open standards, robust developer support, as well as different installation options, more and more businesses can now viably consider Macs for all of their employees. But we still prefer PCs.