A survey of IT administrators conducted by The Enterprise Desktop Alliance (http://www.enterprisedesktopalliance.com) — an organization to help IT departments integrate Macs into the corporate environment — revealed that Macs will be the fastest growing systems in the enterprise through 2011.

End users are seeing the value of the increased productivity of the Mac and IT administrators are finding the tools to integrate them into their current management environment. Macs will climb from 3.3% of all systems in 2009 to 5.2% in 2011. In that same period, more than 25% of all net new systems added in the enterprise will be Macs, says the EDA.

Much of the growth in Macs will happen in organizations that already have Macs installed. The median percentage of Macs in those organizations will double from 5% to 10%. In addition 65% of the respondents had at least some Macs in their organization, and the number of organizations with a measurable proportion of Macs will grow to 70% by the end of 2011. While growth in computers overall is softening from 6.1% in 2010 to 2.9% in 2011, Macs will show 40% and 23% growth in those same years.

“Many organizations are considering more formal plans around device flexibility, responding to continued user pressure to supply and support a broader variety of hardware and software,” according to Michael Silver, vice president and analyst at the Gartner research group.

In a related survey conducted in January of 2010 by the Enterprise Desktop Alliance, IT administrators in sites that had Macs identified their major issues. Eighty-one percent said that parity in integration and management between Macs and PCs is important to their organization. In looking more closely, file sharing among systems and security emerged as the leading concerns. Among the issues that ranked as “very” or “extremely” important to the respondents were:

° File sharing between operating systems, 79%;

° Security, 79%;

° Client management (inventory, patches, compliance), 72%;

° Active Directory integration, 66%;

° Cross-platform help desk and knowledge base support, 60%

“With increased numbers of Macs, IT management is finding ways to get control,” says T. Reid Lewis, president of Group Logic, a founding member of the Enterprise Desktop Alliance. “Solutions that extend Windows management to the Mac let organizations leverage their current administration to accommodate the Mac.”

In other results from the same survey conducted in January 2010, IT administrators who had both Macs and PCs asserted that Macs are less expensive to manage, agreeing that they are easier to configure, require less time training and troubleshooting, and generate fewer help desk support calls than Windows systems.

Approximately 460 IT administrators from business and government organizations with hundreds of system disclosed their expectations in an online EDA survey conducted during May and June of 2010. The respondents represented a total of 3.2 million computers in 2009 growing to 3.5 million in 2011. Some of the respondents had fewer than 200 computers and some had more than 200,000. The median had 400 desktops and 200 laptops in their organization in 2010.