Where to even start. After watching Bill Gallop’s video right through, this struck me as the most blinkered, shallow defence of adopting Apple products I’ve ever seen. Essentially his case falls down on two counts: his encouragement for adopting Apple products simply because people want them, and his avoidance of the issue of spending more on management tools than the actual devices.
To go into more detail, very early on Mr Gallop essentially says that one reason for adoption is that “everyone’s using iPads”. That’s a terrible excuse. I can’t decide to start telling the press everything about my company just because I want to- there are guidelines about talking to the press and I have to abide by them. The same should apply to IT kit.
Which brings me to another issue Bill Gallop avoided: that ultimately, any IT infrastructure is there to support the business, not pander to the whims of staff. If the iPad is the best tool for the job, fine. But it must be the best tool. If it takes 2 weeks work to get an app onto an iPad that the user only uses for 2 days a year in the office, then surely that’s not cost efficient? In the same way, no employee could justify needing a VW Golf to get somewhere. You might need a car, but that car should be chosen based on the requirements of the journey.
I also found his interchangeable use of “Malware” and “Device driver crashes” a bit confusing, and picking on Citrix as a case study is slightly obvious as Citrix is a product designed almost exclusively to enable Windows products to work on just about any other device imaginable. It’s hardly surprising that a cross-platform company went en masse to another hardware platform as it should have no impact whatsoever on their ability to use whatever solutions they have.
The final phase of the presentation- “Why do you want to manage Macs?”- started off unfortunately enough with a really stupid question. It should have read “Why do you want to manage anything?” Because if you don’t manage devices, you’ll end up in chaos. How can you comply with licensing, audit, security and a raft of other requirements if you don’t manage the devices on your network? Forget the platform for a minute; if you don’t manage any of your devices, you’ll pretty quickly end up with illegal software on your network. You’ll be susceptible to malware (and the old “this doesn’t affect Macs” routine no longer washes I’m afraid) infections. You won’t be able to stop people walking away with confidential company data. All your data will be accessible to everyone. And so on and so on. I’m not saying your IT infrastructure should become a police state, but you do need a certain level of management.
To top it off, he went on to list the many ways in which Apple products are compatible with a Windows network, but only after spending more money on 3rd party software. So the reviews of SharePlus were glowing, but it enable you to cache files on the device- not brilliant from a security point of view. He went on at length about how iPads love WebDAV, but in fact iPads don’t support WebDAV out of the box- you have to buy a third party product. Another interesting fact was that Mac Office Enterprise comes with a Lync client- ideal! Except that he completely forgot the bit about needing a Lync CAL too (which, granted, is the same for any Lync client).
I’ll carry on buying the right equipment to do the job, thanks, and not make hardware decisions based on what’s trending on twitter.