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Macs are invading the business world, study says

Although Apple's computers haven't always been so popular in the enterprise, employees are increasingly turning to them for their own use in the office.

Macs are jumping into the corporate world at a rapid clip, a new study has found.

Even though the vast majority of companies around the globe are still using Windows PCs, Macs are starting to find their way into offices--just not through the traditional means, a new study from Forrester Research has found.

According to the firm, 22 percent of the 590 enterprise IT executives Forrester surveyed say that they're seeing an increase in the number of employees bringing their personal Macs into the office. Further inspection reveals that 3 percent of respondents saw Mac use jump by more than 20 percent in the last year, while 5 percent of respondents said that the increase was in the range of 10 percent to 20 percent. Forrester said 14 percent of respondents have seen Mac usage by employees increase by 5 percent to 10 percent.

Historically, Apple hasn't been so popular in the business world. In many cases, companies view investing in Macs as too costly, while others are concerned that the programs and peripherals they rely upon aren't supported by the operating system. However, it appears employees don't seem to care. And the more they buy Macs, the more willing they are to bring them into the office.

When they bring those devices in, though, they shouldn't expect to be able to do all that much. According to Forrester, 41 percent of respondents say they don't allow Mac users to access e-mail, install corporate applications, or even connect to the Internet because of the platform they're using. Although the move might make sense at first glance, Forrester says it could have a negative impact on companies.

"That leaves a lot of employees to find their own ways to get around corporate prohibition," Forrester wrote in its survey. "Companies Forrester spoke with for this document described a gray market emerging internally, where employees share tips and strategies to use their Macs at work and bypass corporate roadblocks."

During its last earnings call earlier this month, Apple said that its iPhone and iPad are also quite popular among enterprise users. The company said that 93 percent of Fortune 500 companies have deployed or are testing the iPhone, while 92 percent of those firms are deploying or testing the iPad.