For Immediate Release
Rise in Student and Faculty Mac Adoption Challenging University IT Managers to Better Integrate Networks
Seamless File and Printer Sharing With Windows PCs Among Top Demands From Mac Users in Higher Education Institutions
Despite reporting an approximate 30 per cent of students and 24 per cent of faculty using Macs at learning institutions, only about one in nine higher education IT professionals believes they’ve solved the key challenges around Mac integration with their Windows-based networks. Two-thirds of these professionals pointed to demand from Mac users for more effective cross-platform access to shared files and printers. These were just some of the key findings released today from a survey sponsored by GroupLogic (GLI), a leading provider of digital content-driven collaboration solutions for the enterprise and the cloud.
The survey targeted over 125 IT leaders and managers at North American higher education institutions. Respondents reported steady Mac adoption across their universities and colleges in 2010, with an estimated average growth of 18 per cent over 2009. They also predicted their Mac user population would grow by another 20 to 21 per cent over the next five years.
Despite this trend, a majority (59 per cent) admitted they didn’t think the satisfaction level of their Mac users had improved over the past year. Effective sharing methods for files and printers was cited as the top unmet requirement. Respondents estimated that although relatively satisfied on the whole, as much as 91 per cent of institutional Mac users think service or performance improvements are needed. Nearly 42 per cent of higher education IT professionals said they field requests “often” or “nearly everyday” from users seeking more effective ways to share Mac and Windows resources such as files or printers.
“Among the most basic forms of collaboration between Mac and Windows users is the ability to share files and printers, so users’ productivity is likely quite affected when outdated infrastructure limits those capabilities,” noted Anders Lofgren, Vice President, Product Management of GroupLogic. “But it’s also interesting to note that even institutions that use built-in system tools to integrate their Mac and Windows environments, still find that performance and security remain significant concerns.”
In addition to better file and printer sharing, higher education IT professionals named reduced cost of ownership and increased productivity as primary drivers for improved resource sharing between Macs and Windows PCs. By contrast, more than 22 per cent admit they have no formalized strategy for Mac integration. This proportion climbs to a majority among institutions with less than 1,000 students.
Most universities and colleges (63 percent) rely upon protocols built into Mac and Windows to accomplish their integration goals, according to respondents. This said, 99 percent reported they face at least one major challenge when integrating Macs with their Windows Server infrastructures. Respondents most often named Microsoft Active Directory integration (55 per cent), client management (40 per cent, including tasks associated with inventory, patches and compliance) and application compatibility (38 per cent) as the most difficult challenges they face.
“There was a time when our industry was talking mostly about future adoption when it came to Macs, but that time has passed. It is now both urgent and critical to assure infrastructure works for existing users with existing computing needs,” added Lofgren. “IT leaders in higher education need to employ a top-down strategy aimed at truly seamless Mac integration, in order to successfully move from ad-hoc to mature collaboration practices. Whether for students, faculty or staff, the ability to easily access and share resources is essential to extend the value of every digital asset a university holds.”
To request a copy of an executive summary of the key findings, as well as the detailed survey results, please visit: http://www.grouplogic.com/web/edusurvey
Leah Gabriel Nurik
Gabriel Marketing Group
GroupLogic helps enterprise and education IT organizations simply and securely integrate diverse computing platforms into enterprise environments, connecting employees to enterprise files, content and assets to facilitate a more productive and efficient work environment. With more than two decades of experience, GroupLogic leads the marketplace in helping IT organizations effectively and easily manage the integration of Apple products into the enterprise ecosystem. Whether IT organizations are looking to integrate existing Apple assets, purchase additional Apple hardware like Macs and iPads, or want to take advantage of the hardware costs savings that accompany the adoption of IT consumerization, GroupLogic enables IT organizations to easily and securely manage the rapid integration of diverse platforms while ensuring resources are optimized. GroupLogic enables the enterprise to focus on what is really important - competitive differentiation, improved employee productivity, mitigated risk and reduced costs. GroupLogic's proven products - mobilEcho, ExtremeZ-IP, ArchiveConnect, and MassTransit - are in use by some of the world's most innovative companies, including Christie's, International Greetings and Omnicom Group.