How to Move Your Team from Reactive to Proactive

Nicolas Ponce
January 28, 2020

Whatever the headcount at your office, you’re probably familiar with the stress of putting out fires. But that doesn’t mean you can’t improve your monitoring and remediation efforts to help your team handle the bigger fish with confidence. Although you’ll never eliminate user errors, you can change your team’s stance from reactive to proactive by improving your processes around:

  • Device life and procurement.
  • Software provisioning.
  • Security.
  • Operational efficiency.

With the help of a mobile device management solution that’s built specifically for the Apple devices on your network, you’ll have all the tools you need to position your team to handle whatever happens (before it becomes in issue for an end user). Here’s what monitoring and remediation can look like for those who’ve already deployed cloud-based IT MDM software at their enterprise.

Improve Procurement with the Help of MDM Software

In order to address security problems on your network, you need to know what devices are on it. Initially creating this inventory may feel intimidating, especially if your organization has a BYOD policy, but this process is straightforward with an MDM and the help of the data from Automated Device Enrollment (formally Device Enrollment Program/DEP).

Once you know what devices you have on your network, log the start date of each employee and the date their Mac computer or iOS device was purchased. These data points can set you up for better best practices around provisioning and help you plan your device procurement.

Most Mac devices come with a one-year warranty, and we generally recommend most organizations purchase the extended warranty for devices you purchase for your business, as that will give you excellent coverage for three years.

In our experience, if a device hasn’t broken after the first two years, chances are it won’t. You may need to replace a battery after several years of use, but if end users are diligent about basic care and beverage placement, you’re likely to get four years of use out of a Mac computer in a business setting.

Once you build out your device inventory, with one eye on hiring trends, you’ll be able to make an educated estimate for your provisioning budget, and include potential increases in software costs.

Simplify Software Provisioning

When it comes to provisioning software, you may be asked to report on who is using what tools and if there’s room to save money by redistributing software licenses that aren’t currently in use.

Many enterprises have a huge budget for the deployment of the full Office 365, but you may be asked how many people are actually using it. With an MDM, you have visibility into who has launched the program. This allows you to evaluate software usage within a more helpful framework.

For example, you may want to ask how many people have opened this program in the past six months. If they haven’t and its usage isn’t likely required for their core responsibilities, inquire if these end users would be open to passing that license along.

While it may be more sensitive for end users to participate in a software audit than a device inventory, a mobile device management portal will give you clear visibility into what applications or software licenses are frequently put to use and which may be redistributed.

Improve Your Security Practices with MDM

Once you know what Mac and iOS devices you have on your network, you’ll be positioned to proactively manage security and updates.

Security and updating go hand in hand: the processes that you use to alert people to security updates are the same for updates to their machines. If the update doesn’t have a major security fix, it’s best to send a gentle notification rather than a massive email, and offer your employees the options to update their software now or later.

With mobile device management software activated, if a certain piece needs immediate remediation (as Zoom did last year), it is easy to respond to the issue in a timely manner – this is a great example in which MDM software sets your team up to react efficiently, rather than scrambling.

To proactively address security risks, you’ll have to ask a bigger question:

What are the necessary security requirements for these Mac devices if we’re going to put corporate data on them?

This question will help you define what you want to monitor and set up alerts – integrating automatic scripting and end-user communication through one user interface.

Mac Devices Are Built for Operational Efficiency in Enterprise

Some days it may seem like everyone is selling a product to make your team more efficient, and that’s not a bad thing. But you need to pick the right tools and systems to deliver the actual efficiencies you’re looking to gain for your IT team and for the Mac users in your environment.

If you’re an IT admin who’s looking to get more time back into their day and for the reassurance that their network is being monitored closely, setting up alerts based on your workflows is available to you through an MDM deployment. You may also gain efficiency by prioritizing certain types of updates or alerts.

Using mobile device management software, you can queue up messages to specific devices so that when they come online, that user will receive an alert. You can use this to let users know that their network use will be limited until they install a security patch. You can send a notice signaling that a critical software update was force-installed overnight. Or, you can always queue up an email, if this is the right way to share network or device news.

Documentation: Record Your Best Practices to Run a Tight Ship

Proactive security and Apple device management is easy to provide for Mac and iOS devices because of the way they’re built for cloud management. But without documentation, it can be hard to have consistency in how you handle things and how you’re using the tools you have on hand.

Documenting your processes can help you define how you’re going to set up alerts and remediation for different severity levels of network threat. Whether you use SharePoint, Confluence, or another wiki-style application for knowledge sharing, decide how you will communicate how you do things asynchronously and keep that resource current.

Whether you’re migrating to an MDM solution from an alternative or from nothing, keep track of what works and what doesn’t. Knowing is half the battle, and the rest is made easy by cloud infrastructure and the compatibility of Apple devices.

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