Is There A Doctor In The House?: A shout out for help on a business case for the Mac platform

HELP! An incredible event happened to me and my new boss approached me about getting our teams Macs next year (this is 10 years in the making). I have to create a business case for switching up our antiquated PC towers to Mac Book Pros and need some facts outside of “because we are designers and want them”. My audience is a rocket scientist and our CIO who has an affinity to the Microsoft world.

8 thoughts on “Is There A Doctor In The House?: A shout out for help on a business case for the Mac platform

  1. Jen Moates

    Being a graphic designer for 16 years (on the Mac platform), I have helped answer the question of why Macs are superior for many people. Here are some main points:

    • it’s all down to the speed they process the work. PC’s, especially windows based, are so clogged down with their operating systems that they take longer to process the tasks. Mac OS is built for graphics and processing postscript fonts.
    • Macs have better video quality, color control, and double the system bus. Not to mention a superior graphics engine.
    • Macs are more optimized for color accuarcy, especially in digital proofing color workflows.
    • Photoshop and other graphics applications run a lot faster on a Mac.
    • The other thing to consider is that most color reproduction and pre-press professionals and printers are still set up for Macs and are more used to dealing with Mac related issues, not to mention the whole font differences issue.
    • In short, Macs are a complete machine designed and built by one company for definite purposes. Those purposes (video, graphic design, sound editing etc) they do very well. So if you want a computer for a specific purpose get a MAC. There solidly built, very reliable, easy to rebuild and oh so nice too look at.

  2. Jim

    Reach out to your printers. The Pre-press team at your printer will probably have a list of items that go wrong or that they need to correct when they receive PC based files.

  3. Trish F.

    I have always worked on Macs so I have no frame of reference when it comes to PCs. One of the things that I can say with confidence when it comes to Macs is that, as a creative team, we are pretty self-sufficient because of them. We probably contact our IT department once or twice a year with issues and they are always printer related, not Mac related. Apart from the initial server set ups and ethernet access we hardly ever see our IT staff. I’m not sure how it is for you now with your PCs, but would guess you spend a lot more time with your IT department than a Mac based work group would.

  4. Enrique

    I’ve worked with both pc/mac environments. The comments about the one dedicated company making a machine specific to the profession is right on.

    To me, it boils down to having the pro-adobe software. Mac’s run this software the best, pc do ok, illustrator is grumpy with win-based machines.

    Color correction. Mac hands down. With pcs’ hit miss, effort to get WYSIWYG.

    PC shareware sucks for design production.
    Mac Shareware is superior and has the best collection out there for applications to solve issues outside the adobe creative suite.

    Mac do suck at networking though. I don’t care what anyone says.

    Macs don’t have enterprise. This is a big problem.
    Email is horrible on the mac. That’s what you do with older pcs’ in the office. Use your old pc to access email and have the mac as a production machine. This allows more memory to be used for production, while pc is for surfing and Outlook email. If there is a virus attack, you only loose the pc.

    I’ve done some of my best work on a PC. So in the end, it boils down to being a good designer, resourcefulness and sharing information within your network.

    But it still begs the question, Mac or pc? I love my mac.

  5. Matt

    There are also productivity benefits that Macs offer:

    Expose. Designers and creatives run lots of applications and have lots of windows open. Getting around them can be cumbersome. Expose is my saving grace. Yes there are “Expose-like” apps that can run in Windows, but not as seamlessly and not as well. Time saved = bottom line cash.

    Ability to drag files and clippings between programs. I love being able to flick my mouse into my top right corner and trigger expose, navigate through spring-loaded directories and find the file I need. Then I can drag it right into a program’s space, have it open, and then take that same file and drag a clipping directly into another CS app, all without having to use menus. Again, huge time saver.

    Dollar-for-dollar the average life span of a Mac tends to be longer than that of an equal PC counterpart. This means higher ROI from and IT budget standpoint.

    Apple doesn’t load a bunch of crap onto their systems, which means a cleaner environment and less work for your IT department.

    Software Savings. OSX has tools built in for screen shots and saving to PDF files. In Windows, you often need to license extra software for this, which means more $$.

    OSX is also a closed operating system, which from an IT support perspective is much more secure and less vulnerable. This means more up-time and fewer tickets to the help desk (and therefore less draw on IT budget).

    There are quite a few others, but that’s a short list that comes to mind quickly.

  6. Jason Graham

    I’ll second what Trish said about the self-sufficient aspect. I’ve worked on them since 1994 and have hardly ever had an issue I haven’t been able to handle myself. I think one of the reasons for the reliability you get is because they offer only a few models so the hardware will likely work well together, and if not they will fix it because they’re reputation depends on it. The OS is pretty much rock solid from my experience. Bottom line is it’s just a better designed product especially when it comes to doing graphics, and it shows inside and out. They do cost more, but if you consider I haven’t really had to have any major help from the IT department for well over a decade I think the cost issue is covered.

    Because I don’t really have Mac support from out IT dept., I’ve turned an old Mac Pro tower into a “server” so my designers and myself have a centralized place for job files. I just VNC into it(no monitor needed), and just have it automatically boot up and shut down on a schedule. It works surprisingly well. I just put a couple of mirrored drives on it for a poor man’s backup, then archive to DVD. It’s not perfect, but it works for now until IT can figure out how to get us access to a real backed up server.

    I would personally be glad to pay more just because I have never had a virus on my Mac. I’m sure you can get badass PC’s that will run everything fast, but I’ve just experienced quirky little issues with PC’s. I think PC’s are great for emailing and web surfing.

    And….analogy: From my experience with trying to do design on PC’s in the past, it’s been like trying to run a marathon in brand new dress shoes with no socks. You can certainly do it, but sometimes having the right tools makes everything about the experience better and less painful. And….stepping down from soap box.

    Over and out.

  7. Kim

    Thank you all for your input — I think my case is looking pretty promising. I’ll keep you posted how this pans out through the budget season.


  8. Ryan Parker

    All great replies here. I’d stand by the fact that Macs just work. You aren’t going to be calling IT to fix stuff you don’t understand. Everything is built in an intuitive, no nonsense way. Also, Macs use common language to guide you through processes, and just about anything can be done in one or two steps.