How switching to Macs is paying off for IBM

Last year, IBM made a bold decision. The company let its employees choose between a Windows PC or a Mac for their own work machines. IBM staffers prefer Macs, so the company bought up 30,000 of them. This year, IBM has 90,000 Macs in use. But Macs are expensive, as we all know, so IBM must be spending a fortune on making the switch…right? Apparently not.

IBM said Wednesday at the Jamf Nation User Conference that it’s actually saving money on each Mac: $273 to $543 per Mac over four years, compared to a Windows PC over the same time period. And no, that’s not because Microsoft is charging more. Fletcher Previn, IBM’s vice president of workplace as a service (yeah, that’s a real title), said Microsoft is giving IBM its best pricing ever. But Macs are still cheaper over their lifetime, and using them results in fewer service calls.

This is just one company’s data, but IBM expects to have more than 100,000 Macs in use by the end of this year, so that’s a pretty significant sample size. The company is rolling out 1,300 Macs a week, and only five IT administrators are supporting all of those computers.

This shift is huge for Apple, which has struggled to find footing in enterprise computing. In 2014, the company inked a deal with IBM to develop mobile-first enterprise apps for a variety of industries, a move that has been incredibly successful. The alliance may seem like a strange one to those who remember the early PC era when IBM and Apple were rivals, but IBM doesn’t make Windows PCs anymore and has bolstered Apple’s enterprise presence. Clearly that move is paying off for IBM, too.

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