The Apple Advantage Saves Doctors Thousands Per Year

Macs cost less than PCs, not more. IT consultants whose expertise is Windows, and Windows software developers, have misled doctors to accept for years that Macs cost more than PCs. And while a Mac may cost a little more than a PC to acquire, the Total Cost of Ownership (price plus support and maintenance over 4 years minus residual value) is the true cost of a Mac or PC in business. IBM, one of the largest enterprise computer users in the world supporting 500,000+, and the largest user of Macs supporting more than 100,000, set the record straight once and for all.

In October 2016 Fletcher Previn, VP of Workplace-as-a-Service IBM, reported to the JAMF National User Conference the statistical findings of the Mac@IBM team who over 17 months enabled and supported 90,000 IBMers who preferred Macs. IBM's goal, set in 2015, is to change their IT culture of enforcing versus enabling. The change required IBM to, "give users the device they want, manage those devices in a modern way, and drive self-sufficiency in the environment."

Here are some statistics from the October presentation from the video below:

  • IBM supports 90,000 Macs and adds approximately 5,000 more per month
  • PCs are 3X the cost to manage and drive 2X the number of support calls
  • Employee satisfaction is up
  • IT costs are down
  • Every Mac model IBM buys yields a significant net savings compared to similarly configured Windows models

Every Mac purchase makes money and saves money

IBM sees $535 in readily measurable savings per Mac over 4 years. During his presentations Previn stated, "the incremental purchase price of a Mac pays for itself several times over the life of the device in reduced support burden...the longer this program runs, the more compelling the business case becomes...I can confidently say every Mac we buy is making and saving IBM money."

Encryption, antivirus, security is macOS native

For each Mac introduced, there are reduced costs for hard drive encryption (macOS native FileVault versus PGP); reduced costs for antivirus (macOS native XProtect versus third party software for Windows); as well as reduced costs for security (macOS native Gate Keeper and SIP).

Note: FileVault and Gatekeeper can easily be turned on by your practice's administrator, which is typically the doctor or practice owner, or the employee who is the practice's HIPAA compliance officer, in macOS system preferences. XProtect works in the background in macOS and virus definitions are automatically updated by Apple.


Support for Macs is less needed, less costly, more effective

Previn observed, "fewer support problems yields better quality support". IBM has reduced helpdesk staff for Macs contributing to a reduction in costs, yet there is 91% Mac user satisfaction with help versus 83% PC user satisfaction. "5% of Mac callers ever require a tech to come to their desk to support and help versus 27% of PC users", Previn said.

There is higher satisfaction from support for Macs versus PC, even though the group is so small (50) because when the call is received the help needed is provided, unlike the PC support where users are commonly passed from tier 1 to tier 2 and possibly further before their issue is resolved. "There are just fewer problems" and "you get your problem fixed", Previn said of Mac support.

"fewer... problems yields better quality support... there are...fewer (Mac) problems"

Fletcher Previn, IBM

20% of IBM employees use Macs, but they account for only 5% of the support calls. PC users account for 2X the support calls versus Mac users. 5% of the Mac users call the helpdesk whereas 40% of PC users call, said Previn.

Note: IBM allocates just 50 helpdesk staff to 90,000 users for a ratio of 1:4500. Gartner's statistics show the optimal number of IT (non Mac) to employees is 1:70 and the average is 1:242. What a difference a Mac makes!


Macs increase productivity versus PC

Besides quantifiable savings, IBM sees productivity gains due to workstation performance, backup/restores and other factors.

Note: An employee at IBM, like an employee at your office, that spends less time on the phone with support or being interrupted by in-person IT support and is more self-sufficient is more productive as well. How much is this gain in productivity of Mac versus PC worth?

The availability of Macs helps IBM hire and retain 'top talent'.


Keeping operating systems current, especially for security, 104 fewer times for macOS

There were 135 major critical patches of Windows 7 in 2015 versus 31 on Mac; 49 non security patches on Windows versus 20 on Mac; 86 critical security patches on Windows versus 11 on Mac, "which really means we have to go out and manage the Mac environment 104 fewer times per year. Well-run networks make the job of an attacker a lot more difficult", said Previn.

135 major critical patches of Windows 7 v. 31 on Mac; 104 fewer (updates) for macOS

On the day of the presentation, 33% of Mac users had updated to macOS Sierra within 72 hours of release, 47% were on El Capitan, released 1 year before, and 20% were on Yosemite, released 2 years before. 1% of Android users were on the 7.x, release in August, and 20% were on 4.x, released in 2011. Conversely 65% of IBMers were on iOS 10 which was released 28 days before.

From the software side every PC costs 3X the cost of a Mac. "Our total cost to upgrade (users) from Windows XP to Windows 7, for example, it ended up that it would have just been cheaper to buy everybody new laptops," said Previn.

Note: Keeping software current with security holes plugged is essential at IBM as it must be in your practice. Doctors using Macs never retain onsite IT to install Apple patches, and most update to a new macOS themselves.

"Every IBM Mac user is a local administrator (of their Mac) and Mac is approved for privileged users at IBM," said Previn.

Previn noted that Apple malware is more expensive on the black market: $100k vs $1.5M, which explains why iOS devices do not have the problems Android does.


Mac hardware is more satisfactory

Employees with Macs seem to be more satisfied with their display, keyboard and mouse, therefore they require the purchase and support of fewer third party peripherals.

73% of IBMers prefer Macs, and that's increasing..."The Mac users (surveyed) are a lot more satisfied than the PC users", Previn reported. In December 2015, 65% of all employees stated that given a choice, they prefer that their next computer be a Mac. In May 2016, 73% stated that given a choice, they prefer that their next computer be a Mac.


Every Mac purchase makes money and saves money

IBM sees $535 in readily measurable savings per Mac over 4 years. During his presentations Previn stated, "the incremental purchase price of a Mac pays for itself several times over the life of the device in reduced support burden...the longer this program runs, the more compelling the business case becomes...I can confidently say every Mac we buy is making and saving IBM money."

$535 measurable savings per Mac. "...every Mac we buy is making and saving IBM money."

In conclusion Previn announced, "IBM Japan has now made the decision that Macs are the standard choice and PCs require an exception."

There are so many reasons Macs and macOS native software can save money and improve your practice's productivity and effectiveness.


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