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IBM’s switch to Macs in the workplace is saving the company quite a bit of money

IBM may have been the stalwart of personal computing for decades, but its employees love the Mac. After letting its workforce choose between a PC or a Mac starting in 2014, many chose the Mac. Now, with nearly 90,000 Macs in use, IBM says it’s actually saving money.

How so, with Macs priced at a premium to their Windows counterparts? It comes in savings over time, Fletcher Previn, IBM vice president of workplace as a service, told attendees at the Jamf User Conference on Wednesday in Minneapolis.

Previn says the savings even come as IBM is getting the best pricing it ever has from Microsoft. Over their usable life, Macs in the company’s deployment require less technical support or repair. Windows PCs were on average driving twice the amount of support calls, but at three times the cost, he commented.

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In dollars, this amounts to anywhere between a $273 to $543 savings per unit over their projected four-year lifespan. The success has even prompted IBM to purchase even more Macs, and by the end of 2016 it expects to have over 100,000 Macs in service, Previn noted. Furthermore, all these Macs are only being supported by seven administrators.

Also notable was a marked increase in employee engagement in their jobs, improving workplace efficiency and thus making IBM more money. “The shortest distance to engaging employees is by what’s in their hand or what’s on their desk,” he said. “Every Mac we buy is in fact continuing to make and save IBM money.”

For a company like Apple a big corporate get like IBM is a rather significant victory. While Macs are certainly becoming more commonplace among consumers, business generally has preferred the Windows PC. That seems to be changing, and the two-year-old deal with IBM is one of the Cupertino, California, company’s bigger moves into the corporate world.