Organizations need accurate information on technology to make the best decisions for their environment. Unfortunately, with Mac myths running rampant, differentiating between the truth and the hype isn’t always easy. We’ll dissect common Macadmin myths to help you understand security, ease of use, cost, dual OS environments, and career options.
Macs are inherently more secure
✔️ Confirmed but with nuance
We agree that a Mac is generally more secure than a Windows PC. That’s due to a combination of factors. First, Mac security is relatively strong thanks to Apple’s control over the App Store and the full ecosystem, the abundant security controls, and the UNIX-based macOS (formerly known as Apple OS X) operating system. Second, cybercriminals historically haven’t targeted Macs as much because they’re just less common.
But make no mistake: A savvy hacker can still wreak havoc on a Mac environment. Mac-specific malware (viruses, adware, worms, trojans, ransomware, spyware, bots, etc.) could infect any internet-connected Apple device, so it’s important to abide by the same standard security tips you’d follow with PCs:
Establish appropriate security policies
Promote a culture of cybersecurity
Train end users
Install each software update
Ensure you use the latest version of the operating system
Use antivirus software
Enable security features
Back up data regularly
Monitor device health
Whether you use Macs or PCs, shielding your company from attack and ensuring your continued success requires following security best practices.
PCs are easier to use
❌ Busted; it's not that simple
Some individuals find PCs more straightforward, but that is not necessarily representative of the devices’ overall ease of use. Most people just prefer the type of computer they’ve used in the past. Since PCs are more common, many people automatically think that they’re easier to use. However, those familiar with both platforms often argue that Macs have a more intuitive design, making them more approachable.
For many users, the biggest challenge is learning the macOS operating system. Thankfully, the learning curve is generally minimal. Mac even maintains a guide for Windows switchers to make the transition more seamless. Plus, you can run Windows OS on Mac computers for those users who are particularly set in their ways.
From an administration perspective, Macs are also reasonably straightforward. Using a high-quality MDM solution, you can establish a configuration profile, enroll and set up devices, and actively manage machines.
Macs cost more than PCs
✔️ Confirmed but with nuance
It’s no secret that you can find a bargain-basement PC for a fraction of the cost of the cheapest Mac. However, that doesn’t paint the complete picture. Because only Apple manufactures Macs, the price range is much narrower. MacBook Airs start at $1,000 compared to PC laptops, which start at around $300. That said, a MacBook Pro’s $1,300+ price tag seems like a bargain compared to high-end PC business laptops, which can easily cost over $5,000
Additionally, while PCs are often more affordable at first, that’s not always the case in the long run. The overall cost of ownership is actually often lower for Macs than PCs. How is that, you ask? Well, expenses associated with implementation, deployment, and support add up. Macs are generally easier to maintain, which can result in notable savings. In fact, an Apple-commissioned report from Forrester asserts that over 3 years, Macs could actually save your business $843 per machine.
Another point in Apple’s favor is that Macs tend to last longer. With an expected lifespan of 6 to 8 years compared to a PC’s 4-year life expectancy, you may be able to replace hardware less often. Plus, should you choose to retire machines while they’re still working, Macs typically command higher resale values than PCs.
So while Macs may be more expensive upfront, they may also be a better value.
Managing dual OS environments should be avoided
Embrace a dual OS environment. Resistance is futile. Most businesses allow bring your own device (BYOD), so trying to force your system preferences on staff is nearly impossible or at least highly annoying to everyone involved. Maintaining a mixed environment can complicate standardization, Group Policy rollout, and auditing, but it can also improve employee satisfaction and efficiency while enhancing security.
Thankfully, many popular apps also work across devices, making it easier to share files and collaborate. Microsoft Office, Google Workspace, Asana, Zoom, Slack, Zoho, Trello, Salesforce, and virtually every other big name in business software work across platforms.
While you should take care to manage hybrid PC and Mac environments efficiently and effectively, there’s no need to try to avoid a dual OS environment. It’s inevitable.
Becoming a Macadmin is difficult
Becoming a Macadmin, also known as a Mac admin or Apple admin, isn’t overly difficult. In general, pursuing a career as a Macadmin requires the same basic process as becoming a sysadmin. However, there are a few additions necessary to learn Mac-related skills. The thing is that you need to prepare:
Earn a degree
Take advantage of Apple’s official training materials
Get experience working directly with Macs
Join a Mac-focused community
Commit yourself to continuous learning
You may also want to earn your Apple Certified Support Professional credential so that you can hit the ground running. With the right qualifications, a person can earn a hefty chunk more as a Macadmin than a sysadmin. Glassdoor estimates that the average Macadmin makes around $100,000 per year compared to the average sysadmin’s $84,000 salary.
Don’t fall for the hype; Macs are neither terrible nor infallible. In reality, properly managed Mac devices can be valuable assets to any organization. That’s what SimpleMDM is all about. To see how easy updating, monitoring, and licensing Macs can be, take advantage of a free 30-day trial and keep reading our blog.
Part writer, part sysadmin fangirl, Meredith gets her kicks diving into the depths of IT lore. When she's not spending quality time behind a computer screen, she's probably curled up under a blanket, silently contemplating the efficacy of napping.