Staying Safe with Apple
Early 2014 and our main company email was hacked with nearly a whole years worth of emails deleted (damn you hackers). Before my arrival at the firm my director relied upon his external IT contact to keep the business IT requirements in check. The issue is that there was no back up for email but there was for everything else. My director is not an IT savvy person thus he would not have asked the IT specialist about e-mail back up as he does not know what this consists of. You probably can’t blame the external contact however he was paid to keep things “safe” never the less things went wrong and we lost a ton of information. Now the reason we got hacked was not due to Microsoft’s software but the question of our overall security was scrutinised. In my experience Apple has a very good reputation when it comes to security which really sparked the conversation about changing our work IT hardware. We wanted to keep it simple and not having to really worry about security i.e anti-virus, malware etc was a massive plus for us. As previously stated my director is not a techno wizard thus anything to do with security including updates and understanding the terminology goes above his head. According to the Apple Business Specialist, security wise, everything is taken care of for you as the security software is built into the operating system, iOS will occasionally ask you to update system but its a very simple click task. Another little plus is that we don’t have to pay for the security like we did with several Third Party programs required under the Microsoft Windows OS. As a long term precautionary measure, we have opted for AppleCare (not exactly sure how this part works yet but I will once we actually have to use it) which we have to pay for but this includes very decent product support and how to advice.
*Please note that I am not an anti virus or pc security expert. The views above are based on experience and advice from Apple professionals.
I am fully aware that there are products on the IT market that have the capability to synchronise your IT and it can work very well. Products like Microsoft’s OneDrive and Google Drive have really helped with this. My knowledge of “cloud” computing to be frank is making slow progress. I do have some experience in using OneDrive, Drive and iCloud as I used the first two for blogging and for some personal backups, iCloud I have used the longest and fortunately know a little more about. All three are good but I just feel that if you want to keep everything simple iCloud is a more refined all round product, as time passes I may learn more about the other two but with iCloud I knew where I was going straight away which is not the same with the other two products.
Back to the business I work for, we wanted simplicity and something which was relatively hassle free and due to our size did not want to get an external party to design an IT system for us as it would not really pay off long term. We also have quite a few iPhones as work phones and the lonely single iPad (watch this space, there is a big future for tablets in the construction industry, we are yet to fully embrace it but we will get there…eventually) thus having everything at our finger tips working so smoothly was a massive plus which is why it was inevitable that we kind of stuck with what we know, iCloud.
All we need is Reliability…it allows you to make more money
There you have it, one of the biggest instigators in swaying this decision. Myself and my director have had our ups and downs with Microsoft products but can only sing praise for our Apple products. I am not saying that our history with Apple is faultless but the issues have been minor and very easy to resolve. Our issues with Microsoft and other similar IT products have not been so easy. Ultimately is comes down to what you trust and unfortunately what you don’t. There was also a lot of influence from acquainted businesses similar in IT requirements namely Architects, Photographers and Accountants to name a few that use Mac’s in their business and love them because they are reliable. We also love our iPhones for work (we all have personal iPhones as well which may have influenced the argument) as they have been super reliable and very useful. My trusty old iPhone 5S has been dropped a few times on site but luckily for me has stayed in good shape, having a good phone cover does go a long way though. Again we knew how reliable the products are thus we opted for iOS.
KISS: Keep it simple stupid
The key part of this entire process was to keep our IT as simple as possible. My IT skills are average needless to say my director well…enough said on that. It was imperative that our IT was not only secure, sychronised, reliable but simple to use. Many IT buffs would say that Microsoft products are simple to use and you can do “more” this may be true if IT is your business, we however are not thus simplicity takes precedent over customisation. I honestly think iOS was built with neanderthals at mind as most people can use the systems without much help. If you don’t know how to use or do something it is relatively easy to find out. We had our Macs a few hours and my director was able to use the product with ease, the only previous Apple experience was with an iPad and iPhone. My responsibility was for setting up the network and backup etc which was again easier than previously experienced, a few Google searches helped out and I did not need to contact Apple to help, even if we have already prepaid for their help.
Upon writing this post we are only a week into using the products thus we would not have used many of the features available nor really tested the systems to full capacity. Let’s not forget that Apple products are at the premium end of the market thus not every business would want to fork out for these machines.But is it really more expensive? All the money we have spent on Windows based products and after sales care have actually worked out to be more expensive per user. Perhaps this was due to naive purchasing, a high spec Windows based system only 18 months ago showed that a lot of spec does not make for smooth IT. I probably won’t be popular in writing this post as there is already so much Pro Apple debate going on however this is from a day to day small business perspective. If all you take away from this post is considering Apple for Business, my job is done.
***I have been using Windows products for at least 21 years and there are many pro and cons. This post was written on a New Toshiba Laptop running Windows 10 which I have only had a short while. If I could choose again I would go for a MacBook, even if the Analyst in me tells me that they are expensive I just like using the iOS products.