31 Jul What’s the best platform for your business – PC or Mac?
When it comes to computer technology for your business, you have a choice of platforms for your people’s workstations – PCs or Macs. However, this may not be as straightforward a decision as it might at first appear – and the decision could have consequences for the life of the platform you choose and your business.
So, what then are the main differences between PCs and Macs? (Apart from the technical difference that a Mac is a computer built only by Apple, with the Mac operating system, while PCs are personal computers built by many companies, with Windows as the operating system.)
Here are some factors your business needs to consider before making that crucial buy-decision.
Cost and durability
Using a computer is always going to cost money – and here we’re not only talking about the purchase price and the maintenance costs. There’s also the employee learning curve that has an impact on productivity – and when things go wrong with a machine, and the helpdesk has to be called to fix issues, the down-time gets further compounded. If employees get frustrated with their work tools, then morale suffers, with a corresponding domino effect on productivity.
It’s common knowledge that Macs are expensive. However, any business, but especially a small business, needs to not only think about the purchase price of a machine, but also the cost of maintaining that machine over its life in the business.
Here, Macs, while being more pricey upfront, tend to have a longer lifespan and require less maintenance than their PC counterparts. For example, it’s been found that Mac costs around a third as much to manage as a PC and drive only half as many support calls.
PCs, on the other hand, while relatively cheap to buy, can be less reliable and the cost of maintaining them (and replacing them more frequently – the average lifespan of a PC is three to five years) may counteract the initial low cost. Then again, do you really need or want this sort of technology asset to hang around any longer than that? Your call.
However, while Macs are robust and reliable, they’re not entirely foolproof, and their integrated design makes them tricky to repair. A Mac is a package deal, so to speak, so when something malfunctions, the expectation is less to swap out components or repair and more to replace. So, while Macs may need fewer repairs, when they do, it can cost a lot.
With PCs, on the other hand, it’s easy and relatively cheap to swap out components. That’s good news for any business, as you won’t have to buy a whole new PC just because one component went on the blink. And even if a PC has to be replaced entirely, the total expenditure could easily still be less than what a Mac would have cost to begin with.
Despite very different initial prices, when all is said and done, PCs and Macs may come out looking surprisingly similar in the cost stakes.
Hardware options for New Zealand Businesses
Macs are made by one company, Apple – and they make a very limited number of models; very good models mind you, but still only a relative handful.
A far bigger range of companies make PCs, offering a much broader range of choice (from budget to high-end, and everything in between) and for a far wider range of uses. There are also a significant number of PC formats that have no equivalent in the Mac world, for example all-in-one touch screen PCs, 2-in-1s that double as laptops and tablets, and expandable tower systems that enable you to build a PC to your very own specifications.
It’s this vast range of options that is one of the most valuable things about the PC platform. PCs are like blank slates – you can pick and choose the options and features you want and leave off what you don’t. When you buy a PC, you’re also buying the ability to use thousands of peripherals and applications; and you’re buying the ability to switch to a different manufacturer if your current supplier stops innovating or goes out of business. In business, this level of choice and options can be quite a valuable commodity.
What are 3 things to consider when considering a MAC or PC?
- Customisation and functionality
While the “plug and play” approach and “it just works” philosophy behind Apple’s dedicated hardware make Macs very reliable, it also makes them rather difficult to customise.Microsoft’s philosophy, on the other hand, is all about hardware customisation and network functionality. Windows-based servers are the IT standard, and they’re designed for the PC, so businesses can save a lot of IT time (and time is always money!) by taking advantage of this. Enough said?
- Computer security
There’s been a lot in the media lately about computer security and the implications for business of being sloppy in this regard. There are two main consequences of taking your eye off the ball when it comes to proper computer security. The first is really slow, poor-performing machines that drive down both productivity and staff morale. The second is data compromise, with potentially disastrous consequences for any business.Given the fact that PCs make up the vast majority of computers throughout the world, most viruses are built to attack PCs. With their smaller market share, Macs are generally perceived to be a less attractive target for hackers, but that’s not to say Macs are completely free from the attention of hackers; they just get less attention. However, most businesses have already invested in some or other level of IT security and are used to regularly patching and upgrading their systems with antivirus and anti-malware software, so the inherent security difference between Macs and PCs may be a moot point.
- Software compatibility
Previously, Mac and PC software was suited to very different applications. Nowadays, however, both platforms pretty much run the full suite of business tools. However, they’re still not great at talking to one another. This is an important consideration when you’re having to exchange files with your customers or clients, e.g. if you’re a business dedicated to Macs, but all your customers operate PCs, you could have a bit of a problem on your hands if your customers have to be able to interact with and open files from your Macs.A much better approach is to adopt the same platform that is common in your industry, so you and your customers don’t have to waste valuable time dealing with compatibility issues and converting files. After all, a company’s competitive edge lies in its level of customer service, and you don’t want your computer technology to be the factor that undermines your customer service.
The final analysis
So then, what’s the best platform for your business – PC or Mac?
The right platform for your business is the one that best serves the specific needs of your business. In other words, figure out what your computing priorities are and pick the machine that best suits your budget and requirements.
Are you tasked with making the decisions about the technology solutions for your business?
If you’d like to have a considered discussion about which technology solution – PC or Mac – is the best one for your business.
Fill out the form below and the team at Techware Solutions will be in contact to arrange a time for an informal chat.
As expert providers of the latest technology for businesses and home offices, we can talk you through which of the two platforms is easier to set up and use, which is more reliable and which models of Mac or PC offer the best all-round value for your business. Also, as PrintWare experts, we can even show you the best printing solutions for your choice of technology platform. So talk to us today.