How do you deal with pushback from users who want more flexibility on their device or OS choice? Are you strict in the choices you give users, limiting their choices to certain models from a list? Or is it a “you get what you get” environment?
Also curious as to whether your choices are related to cost or more focused around what you have the ability to support (whether it be related to software or just the skill level of your team).
We're a mix of "giving choices" and "you get what you get". Ultimately we have a Windows and an Apple model selected for each role (see below). From there, we default to giving Apple devices to employees (In our experience, Apple devices last longer and are more reliable). If they are strongly against Apple devices, then we give them a Windows computer.
Project Manager, Digital Marketing, Sales - Apple MacBook Airs or a ultralight mid-powered Windows laptop.
Designers, Developers, Myself (SysAdmin) - Apple MacBook Pros or a high-powered Windows laptop.
We use Dell as our Windows vendor, so I usually work with our Dell rep in figuring out which models they have available in bulk and what prices they can get us. For Apple, we purchase directly from them via our business store.
My last IT role was similiar. We had a "standard offering" and that was mainly due to the fact that some areas of the organization really needed to have Windows. Especially accounting and a lot of the bankers that had to deal with old microsoft stuff.
Everyone else would be given a Mac but same thought, if they really wanted Windows we would try our best, as long as we had some available. The hardest struggle was keeping enough inventory available based on hiring of each role. So we would have to play the , "take this in the meantime until we get your desired platform" and then have to do a data transfer.
Wonder what the cost break down is for that tbh
Yes! We placed a large order of MacBook Pros and Airs late last year. We got enough to replace all of our "aged out" devices, a few additional of each computer for any accidental d. It also helped that leadership knew roughly how many new positions we were going to hire for this year, so I was able to order for that as well.
As for our Windows computers, Dell has a group of computers available to us with "fast shipping". We've only utilized it once, but we ordered it on Monday at 3 or so, got it Wednesday at 9 AM.
In the past, we had a mix of devices, primarily Windows and Mac. All hardware has been selected by IT with the exception of our one Linux user who is allowed to pick the machine they want and then get IT approval for it.
We have now started to transition to Mac as the primary hardware platform and have a couple of configurations for MBP's and a single MBA which are assigned based on an individual's department/role. All are speced out quite well. Our employees do not get a choice in the decision as this move was made to help simplify our support and IT infrastructure company-wide.
The one Linux user aside, we will have to keep a small subset of PC's for a specific group who require an AutoDesk product that does not run natively on Macs but that is the only reason a user will not get moved over to Mac this year. (and they will get new PC's as we're doing a company-wide hardware refresh) We realize that the change to Macs will cause some short-term difficulties for some users coming from Windows and having to learn the new OS. However, the reduction in complexity within the environment is well worth it as we build out zero-touch deployment strategies and automated onboarding processes.
Fair question. It was never really on the table to try and force them to switch and there are a number of reasons that factor into that. They have always been a Linux user, it makes sense for their position and the security work they do, with their background/experience they "self-manage" that device in cooperation with IT to ensure they are maintaining our requirements around security and compliance. Also, and possibly most importantly, I honestly think this person would resign if we attempted to force them over to a Mac and they are too valuable to our organization. That might not be the best answer, but it's the truth.
But yeah, in general, it's not a good practice to make exceptions to the rules, and depending upon the organization and people in it can easily lead to problems. 😬