IBM reported some pretty impressive stats this week. Not least among them the fact that 73% of IBM employees – the company whose personal computer division was once almost synonymous with Microsoft – want a Mac as their next PC. The company is currently equipping its employees with Macs at the rate of 1300 people per week.

Indeed, IBM Japan has gone as far as making Macs standard-issue: any employee wanting a Windows machine instead has to make a special request justifying their need.

The company said that it had to overcome a number of assumptions – or prejudices – in order to make the transition …

It said that the default attitude to Macs within the company used to be that they were more expensive, more challenging/expensive to support and required retraining. The reality, it discovered, was rather different. We already learned last year that support costs turned out to be dramatically lower for Mac users, and the company revealed that it also saved money in other ways.

Hard drive encryption, for example, used to be something the company had to implement on top of a standard Windows installation; with macOS, FileVault is a standard installation option. It also saved money on anti-virus protection, XProtect built-in to Macs while Windows machines require third-party software. Beyond this, however, it reported improved employee productivity – and even found that user satisfaction with Macs was helping staff retention rates.

The company went into more detail on support costs, to illustrate just what a difference there is between Windows and Mac. While 27% of Windows tickets end up requiring IT staff to physically fix something at the user’s desk, that was true for only 5% of Mac tickets. PC users drive twice the number of support calls as Mac users. All of which meant that the company was able to support 217,000 Mac and iOS devices with just 50 help agents worldwide.

There was also a significant difference in the costs of keeping devices up to date. Comparing the number of updates and patches required, the company said that a Windows 7 PC needed 86 security patches and 49 others. For Mac, the numbers were 11 and 20 respectively – a total of 104 fewer.

IBM showed the total costs of ownership for both Mac and PC over a four-year period, with big savings in three separate areas.

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It’s a similar tale in mobile, where two-thirds of employees are now rocking iOS devices compared to just a third for Android. Blackberry accounts for a mere 0.4%, while Windows Mobile is nowhere to be seen. One of the benefits, says IBM, is greatly improved security. Only 1% of Android devices were running the latest version; for iOS devices, the percentage was 65% despite the latest release being a month later than for Android.

Any enterprise CIO/CTO ought to be sitting up and taking notice of these sorts of numbers. And if they do, Apple’s prospects for future corporate sales could be very encouraging indeed.

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