Small business owners that are making an investment into their office equipment need to take several factors into consideration when choosing a Mac or PC platform. As the technology advances with software programs being compatible to both, there are other factors to look at such as costs over the usable life of the equipment as well as customization and security. Many small businesses will also consider whether desk or laptop machines are most suitable for their needs.
COST OF COMPUTER, SOFTWARE, AND REPAIRS
The cost of purchase is absolutely higher for a Mac than a comparable PC; however, what is the cost comparison over the usable life of the machine? Typically, the purchase price of a Mac will be significantly higher than that of a PC. This can be offset by the “out of the box” nature of Macs that do not require any tech support to get up and running, thus eliminating that cost. Software differences between platforms have really become something of a non-issue as most vendors now provided similarly priced versions for both platforms. Additionally, repairs are necessary a lot more frequently on PCs than they are on Macs.
Many tech experts believe that the cost variance is not great enough to impact the decision of choosing one platform over the other. And surprisingly, there are a growing number of members of the IT community that believe that over the life of the computer, Macs are actually less expensive. With this new reality, cost should not be as impactful a consideration as it may have once been.
LAPTOP vs. DESKTOP
There are certain roles that absolutely require a lap top, such as sales team members that need to access the firm network when meeting externally with clients, or construction and project managers who conduct the majority of their work in the field. Lap tops can easily be adapted for office use as well, thereby giving the user flexibility of working on a portable machine with the ability to utilize a large monitor and ordinary keyboard when in the office. In addition to portability, there are a few other considerations such as speed, connectivity, and quality of graphics, etc. If you are not certain which machine best suits your requirements, Computer Hope has compiled a helpful checklist.
This area is perhaps where the factors will most affect the buying decision. If your business is one in the creative realm, or for which you need a lot of specialized capabilities like those necessary for photography, a Mac will likely serve you better. On the other hand, if you are an accountant or in the financial field, the integration of many of those software packages work more smoothly with a PC. Customization in the financial field is more easily accomplished on a PC, and there exist many more complex software systems on that platform. While standard software is mainly compatible between the two types of computers, if you utilize more advanced programs this may have a large impact on which platform you choose.
Macs do come with a more robust security system however, that does not mean that you do not need antivirus software if you select a Mac. Cyber security is top of mind for small business owners even when they are not conducting a review of which tech equipment is best for their offices. With the increase in malware, hacking and destructive viruses, a robust protection package will be necessary, no matter if you choose to equip your offices with PCs or Macs.
Overall, small businesses are well served by either platform, but it may come down to customization as the deciding factor. It is important to make the decision based on the enterprise needs of your firm rather than what the pundits are saying to fuel the Mac vs. PC internet arguments. The good news is that for many circumstances the choice will be based on preference and either machine will more than adequately meet the needs of your small business.