I have always been fascinated with Apple’s Mac computers, and the passion towards the brand of its users. But I’ve always been a PC user, and I’m the type who finds it hard to shift away from something I know.
So I bought a top-of-the-line iMac computer with 27-inch screen intent on understanding what’s the big fuss with Macs. While it looks lovely in my home office, unfortunately, it’s more of a decorative white elephant than something totally useful and functional. I am currently using it only to store photos and edit a few videos. For all its capacity and features, my iMac is certainly not maximized for business use.
According to Dave Yoken, CEO of Macuity, some functions are better suited on a Mac.
Certainly if you are a graphic designer, or work with contact or media development, Macs sit head and shoulders above PCs. Macs are also a lot better at content management, so if you do a lot of work with photos, music, or video, Macs excel at assisting you to get up and running quickly with very elegant tools that allow you to create websites, DVDs, edit movies, and publish your content to the web.
Why should a small business owner consider shifting to a Mac? Per Dave, here are 5 reasons:
1. Security. The same security issues that you have to deal with on a daily basis with Windows-based computers do simply not affect Macs.
There have been very few instances of viruses affecting Macs over the past decade, and most spyware, malware, and security attacks are aimed at the Windows world. In addition, Macs are built on a Unix foundation, which is a time-tested, stable and reliable operating system.
2. Usability. Apple is the only company that builds both the hardware and software on their computers, thereby ensuring a seamless user experience.
3. Interoperability. Macs can runs any version of the Windows operating system in virtualization mode. This means that if you have a program that only works with Windows XP, Vista, or Windows 7, you can install it in your Mac and run it without any hitches.
4. Productivity. End users tend to love Macs for their ease of use and beautiful, well thought out user interface. Apple makes sure that the user experience is as intuitive as it can be, ensuring a very quick learning curve, as well as a very enjoyable interaction with the computer.
In fact, even companies like IBM have proven that, when given a choice, employees tend to overwhelmingly decide to user Macs over PCs. (IBM has conducted several pilot programs over the past few users where they asked specific employee groups to switch to Mac. At the end of these pilot programs, well over 80% of the employees involved in the program decided to stick with the Macs over their ThinkPad PCs.)
5. Total Cost of Ownership. While it may appear that Macs are more expensive than PCs at the initial purchase point, if you take into account all of the advantages of using Macs (i.e. users are more satisfied with their computers, they are more productive, they do not have to wrangle with constant security issues and maintenance problems), the total cost of owning a Mac is significantly less than owning a PC over the course of their years in use.
Nice good reasons. But my question then is: How easy will it be to shift? Dave explains that,
“Not only is the transition fairly seamless, but you can now take a snapshot of your entire PC computer and move it over to the Mac using one of two virtualization programs (VMWare Fusion, and Parallels). Both of these programs will copy your entire hard drive from the PC, and automatically copy them to your Mac so you can continue to work in the exact environment you’ve been using on your PC. In addition, if you simply want to move your documents, movies, pictures, music, etc. to the Mac, that process is not very difficult either.”
Dave also compiled a list of 5 tips small-to-medium-sized businesses need to keep mind if considering to make a shift.
1. Apple recently introduced a low-cost server product for small businesses, which consists of a Mac Mini running Mac OS X Snow Leopard Server. This combination of a dedicated Mac used as a server and the server operating system itself, with unlimited workstation support, would normally be priced at double the $999 that Apple is charging for this package. It represents a wonderful value proposition for small companies that are looking to implement file sharing, office collaboration, as well as a slew of other workplace-focused resources, with minimal up-front cost.
2. Make sure all important equipment is protected from power surges and power outages. Invest in Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) backup battery equipment for all servers, networking equipment, and workstations. UPSes not only protect your expensive hardware from power overloads and the damage they can cause, but can provide continuous battery backup power for your equipment when the experience power outages.
3. Cloud computing can be an incredible resource for your company. Web-based applications, otherwise known as Software as a Service (SaaS),provide a whole range of services whose value propositions center around their ease of use, cross-platform compatibility, and the notion that your company does not need to worry about the infrastructure required to power these services . Whether you are looking into invoicing systems, customer relations management (CRM) systems, file sharing services, or online backup services, the web offers a slew of companies who provide these applications to allow your company to do significantly more with less.
4. Keep a copy of DiskWarrior handy! This program, made by Alsoft, is the holy grail of Mac disk repair and support utilities. If for some reason one of your Macs does not start up properly, or is acting slow, DiskWarrior will rebuild the table of contents of the Mac’s internal hard drive, optimizing performance and fixing potential issues. It can even conduct a certain level of data recovery on your hard drive!All this for $99.95.
5. All Macs, starting with the Leopard operating system (version 10.5), come with Time Machine, Apple’s built in backup software that makes backing up individual Macs incredibly easy. The system uses a set-it-and-forget-it approach, and you can back up your Macs to a central server, NAS device,Apple’s Time Capsule, or individual external backup drives.
Hmmm … maybe I need to start by getting myself Mac versions of all the softwares I use. But the question for me is: Do I have the time to learn new technology? If you are like me who needs help with the process of moving to Mac, contact Dave Yoken at firstname.lastname@example.org for consulting advice and assistance.