How to manage Apple devices in an enterprise environment

Apple Devices in the Enterprise

Currently, Apple’s appeal in the enterprise continues unabated and according to the survey (which was conducted by Dimensional Resource Research and is based on feedback given by 300 IT professionals, managers and executives drawn from business organisations with between 50 and 10,000+ employees worldwide), 91% of enterprise organisations are using Macs, and 99% of business organisations claim they are using an iPhone or iPad, a staggering percentage.

The use of both Mac and iPad devices continues to grow in the enterprise. Almost all of the organisations that participated in the survey stated that their usage of both Mac and iOS devices was higher than the previous year.

Challenges for IT teams

With the large-scale use of mobile office devices, IT teams are required to provide reliable and efficient technical support to meet different usage environments and needs, such as software distribution and updates, account configuration, password policies, system settings, disk encryption, software restrictions, Wi-Fi settings, VPN settings, and so on.

Imagine if every user received a new computer and was asked to create an account, set up a network, get and install the required software, install printers, etc. These are definitely not reliable things to do as we cannot ensure that all users are able to perform them correctly. The end user is also bound to seek help from our IT, creating a big challenge for the IT staff.

However, if every computer needs to be set up by our IT staff personally, this is definitely a lot of work, and maintenance at a later stage also requires a lot of time and effort.

From SolutionKeys’ contact with a large number of customers and their own experience, whether we let the user to solve the problem or IT assistance to complete, can not bring a good user experience, not to talk about the management of the device. Almost all enterprises have a strong need to unify the management of their devices to meet office needs and data security considerations. As a Jamf integrator with many years of experience, our customers have encountered these situations before:

1.Leakage of confidential business information to a competitor’s company
2.Lost laptop, resulting in data loss and no way to secure the data on the laptop.
3.Employees update the system and the DLP software doesn’t work properly.
4.A company replaces its printers and copiers, requiring IT to update drivers and print configurations for every            employee.
5.Customers in a restaurant take photos of their ordering iPads, install or remove apps, set passwords, and                    even  take their iPads out of the restaurant.
6.Employees leave their jobs without logging out of their personal Apple IDs, resulting in the device being                      locked and unable to be used anymore.                                                                                                                                         7.Customers or employees change the network connection of their devices.

There are a lot of similar situations and these are caused by the fact that the equipment is not managed in any way. Some companies realised the need for equipment management early and adopted equipment management solutions in time, effectively avoiding unnecessary losses and other problems caused by unmanaged equipment.

Work has changed, it’s time to adapt to the new ways

Nowadays, work is no longer restricted by time and place, fixed time fixed place office era is changing, more and more people and enterprises have created benefits through telecommuting.

The constant evolution of digital technology has improved business processes and enhanced the employee experience, but the secret to success lies in the evolution of IT responsibilities.

As many of you may have seen “IT Maniacs,” the IT department located in the basement may reflect the status of the IT department. But the IT department, as a technology services department, is a screw that is necessary for the healthy functioning of the organisation. Without a secure network environment, healthy running servers and clients, and the necessary hardware and software support, it’s hard to imagine how a business can thrive.

IT only gets one chance to make a good first impression, and from this aspect of device management, we can now do exactly that. With Apple Business Manager (ABM) we can customise our zero-touch device deployment strategy within the company, so that when a user unpacks a new device and powers it on, Apple Business Manager tells the Mac, iPad or iPhone to let it be automatically enrolled into the organisation’s mobile device management (MDM) solution .

Apple Business Manager is a free service from Apple and is open for registration and use by all organisations in mainland China, if anyone is not yet aware of it, you can check out more about it here.The MDM solution itself is already well suited to meet the needs of organisations in terms of device management, and with the integration of ABM, it is definitely like a tiger with wings. From the procurement of equipment to the deployment of the use of such a complete lifecycle until decommissioning, can do a full range of management.

Practical Experience

In order to help customers achieve a pure Apple experience, SolutionKeys first introduced Jamf in 2011, and many of you may have heard of or are using this product, Jamf for Apple devices show very powerful management functions, and is very popular with customers from all walks of life. SolutionKeys is Jamf’s appointed service provider, sales partner and the only authorised integrator in China, and its professional team has deployed Jamf for more than 100 education and enterprise customers in the past 10 years.

Most of the customers may seek MDM solution only to solve a few problems. For example, there is an internet finance company that needs to solve the problem of prohibiting users from updating their systems to prevent DLP software from being unsupported on the latest systems, there is another finance company that needs to solve the three problems of standard deployment of new devices, unified distribution of updated software and unified disk encryption, there is another catering company that needs to solve the problem of unified deployment of updates to the a la carte app as well as setting up a single-application model, and there is also a factory Enterprises need to solve the confidential area of the iPhone device to prohibit photography, prohibit the use of Bluetooth, prohibit AirDrop, limit specific Wi-Fi and disable irrelevant App five problems.

One might think that an MDM solution is needed in cases where you are plagued by only one or two issues? Or think that MDM solution has a lot of features, is it too wasteful to deploy it only to solve those few problems? I can tell you with my chest, all customers after the deployment of MDM, in addition to configuring policies to solve the first few problems, they have explored more more in line with the management needs of their respective business environment and through the MDM to achieve these management needs, and these after the deployment of the number of policies far more than the initial need.

It’s actually quite understandable that the issues that are on the table are probably ones that are realised to be in dire need of resolution, while there are some that we haven’t been informed of a better way to deal with them, or haven’t realised that they need to be dealt with equally in a timely manner. Because you want to solve only individual problems, and MDM provides a whole set of more comprehensive solutions.

It has also been proved that all customers have taken device management to a whole new level after deploying MDM from all aspects such as device deployment, content distribution, account management, network management, security management, asset management, reporting and so on. Users also get a very good experience, they can easily get the required software, drivers, printers, patches, email account settings, network settings, VPN configuration, etc. from MDM self-service applications, and even one-click self-service to fix the problems, and these operations do not require IT help.

How to choose the right MDM product

If the number of Apple devices in your organisation is high or growing, we recommend using MDM sooner rather than later, as it will be a great help for our IT administrators. If you want to provide users with the best Apple experience and the most efficient and original management experience, with our understanding of the major MDM products and customer feedback, Jamf is a good choice, which is based on Apple, focusing on Apple, not only provides a standardised management module, but also supports APIs and customisation, I believe that Jamf will definitely bring a pleasant surprise to enterprise Apple I believe Jamf will bring surprises to enterprise Apple device managers!


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