Macs in Business - Are they compatible or useful?

There are so many computer users wishing to move to Mac these days, but for many it is important that their new Mac is compatible with the business systems they use in their work place from day to day.

There may be some reasons that an IT department at your work place may wish you not use a Mac computer, some legitimate, and some not so.  Work places may wish to work with Windows-only environments as they can be bound to the corporate network domains and controlled more easily by IT.  And that's ok, I understand this.  But when someone tries to tell me Mac computers are not compatible with work place systems or they are a security risk, I have to disagree.

Compatibility

Mac are actually compatible with most protocols used on corporate networks and work places.  Straight out of the box Macs are more useful than ever at work.  An array of software is available to help you operate with most corporate systems.

Mac Mail Exchange
  1. Macs can connect to the common file sharing protocols just like Windows machines.  
  2. "Remote Desktop" or "Cord" allows access to terminal servers used commonly in enterprise networks.
  3. Mac Mail, and Outlook for Mac can connect to Exchange, Google Apps and other common email and collaboration servers just like a Windows based machine can.  iCal and Contacts connect with Exchange and Google Apps calendars and contact sharing systems.  Or if you use Outlook for Mac, this works in much the same way as Outlook on Windows with most of the features you may be used to.
  4. Office for Mac allows Microsoft type document creating and editing, with seamless sharing between Mac and Windows computers, including Word, Excel and Powerpoint.
  5. Safari, Google Chrome, and Firefox are all available for Mac OSX.
  6. "Preview" for Mac opens and even edit PDFs.  Printing to PDF is automatically built into Mac systems.
  7. Boot Camp and Parallels (virtual machines) allow you to run Windows on any Mac systems.
  8. Command prompt via Terminal gives advanced users a lot of power to work with and configure much of the under the hood settings of the local machine and remote systems.
  9. iOS devices with built in and App Store apps can work with all the applications we've mentioned above.
  10. You'll find most requirements are fulfilled by Mac systems and software.
Virtual machine macs

Security

One of the most annoying things I hear IT administrators say is that Macs are a security risk.  Macs are computers, and operate with network services bound to protocols just like Windows machines.  Work place networks run services which are defined by these protocols.  Macs do not have any special powers that allow them to operate outside the rules of these systems.  If networks are threatened by a Mac computer, then they are also under threat from any other type of computer on the internet or network.

Basically, Macs access files and systems just like any Windows machine does.  They need to fulfil certain criteria when connecting to services, with usernames and passwords just like Windows machines.

What is more worrying is the number of viruses that infect PCs these days.  Many of these are huge threats to local and network files stored on network servers.  You won't get this issue with Mac systems.

Summary

In summary, Mac systems ARE compatible with most systems in work place and corporate networks.  Straight out of the box they will work with most services, and a variety of software is available to fill any gaps.  If there is ever a time you need to run Windows software, this can be done with virtual machine software like Parallels or VMware.  We offer a number of Mac business services that will get you running on any work place network with the Mac hardware you love.