Critical Considerations When Managing Your Apple Environment
To manage Apple devices effectively, there’s a lot to consider. This eBook examines ways in which a mobile device management (MDM) solution can benefit IT teams—and the organizations they serve—as well as evaluate the solution against key necessities IT looks for when supporting a fleet of devices.
| Across the globe, the workforce is responding to a new set of imperatives: industries that are able to support a mobile workforce must do so, and some companies will need to scale up rapidly to meet the market’s shifting needs.
This sea change in workplace culture poses a challenge and an opportunity for you, the IT administrator that is tasked with supporting multiple operating systems in a flexible environment.
Whether your fleet of devices is completely made up of Apple devices, or it’s a blend of Apple and Windows devices, your ability to handle fires and strategic initiatives depends on speed, operational efficiencies, and solutions that aid you while helping your end users remain productive.
AN MDM SOLUTION IS PIVOTAL TO APPLE DEVICE MANAGEMENT
Apple device management is essential as mobile workforces scale up or expand nationally or globally, and the good news is that Apple builds all of its devices with mobility in mind.
Although there are many budget-friendly MDM solutions in the marketplace today, even as recently as 2017, 70 percent of IT admins hadn’t deployed an MDM. Whether you’re looking to migrate to different mobile device management software or you’re interested in setting up MDM support for the first time, here are two foundational things you should know about MDM for macOS and iOS.
1 | Apple Products Are Built to Facilitate MDM. Apple devices are built with mobile device management in mind. When you’re looking for a third-party vendor to provide MDM for your environment, you’re ensuring that network data is protected, as well as your end users’ privacy. Setting up your first MDM integration should be a painless process. With cloud-based software, you don’t need to have all the devices in one place to set up your Apple device management program; no on-premises management, no server spin-up. Furthermore, a SaaS MDM solution can be paired with real-time support, live engagement, quick rollouts, and constant communication with devices. This allows you to deliver a positive user experience while eliminating tasks and response time in your day.
2 | An MDM Can Save You Money. One of the benefits of working with a cloud-based IT solution is that it keeps infrastructure costs low. When you think about the benefits of using mobile device management software against the cost of devices, it’s hard to argue against it. A recent study by Oxford Economics finds the typical monthly cost of MDM is between $3.25 and $9 per device. Whether there are 10 employees or 50, the annual cost of replacing one missing laptop and securing all of its data will likely be more than the annual cost of your MDM software.
Device Deployment and User Experience is Superior with an MDM Solution
We know how much Apple users love their devices. Opening a MacBook for the first time represents the start of something new. By following best practices for device enrollment, your end users will get new devices sooner and fully equipped with everything they need to get to work.
A mobile device management solution can support customized workflows for new device enrollment to help your IT team work proactively while mitigating risks. This is key to helping your team hit the ground running with everything they need in hand. What’s more is you and your users benefit from leveraging Automated Device Enrollment. Within an MDM solution, enrolling devices is easy with your MDM profile. That’s a win-win for you and your end user, as users receive their work devices with the pre-installed Apple device management system already set up. You can rest assured that proper policies are in place from the get-go.
An Apple management platform should offer you a few ways to enroll devices. Having options for seamlessly adding one device or a group of devices, with minimal end-user interaction, is key for choosing to deploy an agent. Having the option to do the same thing many ways will assist future troubleshooting (for individual devices and overall IT support).
Trust—and Confirm—That Your Apple Devices are Secure for Improved Network Security
MDM solutions provide a window into all of the Apple devices on your network, the software installed on those devices, and how up-to-date they are. It is critical to know what you know before you can identify the unknowns and potential risks in your environment.
With a live inventory at your fingertips, your team can proactively respond to Mac malware threats, which can help everyone work more efficiently (and with a stronger sense of security).
MDM solutions make it possible to provide a high level of security for a large number of devices, thanks to custom scripting opportunities and an interface that’s designed to make it easy to get a high-level view of all of the devices on your network.
Not all Apple device management platforms that provide robust monitoring and remediation features are equal. MDM solutions can vary in the requirements and skills needed from IT. Here are a few things to evaluate your MDM solution against your team’s capabilities and bandwidth:
- What alert functions come out of the box so you can gain efficiency by prioritizing certain types of updates or risks?
- Is there room to customize alerts? Coding isn’t a requirement for managing Apple devices, but if you want to create custom scripts, and your team has the technical chops or wants to learn, your MDM solution should provide a straightforward way to accomplish these workflows.
- Are there additional solutions paired with the MDM solution that can help you fulfill your responsibilities easier? Patch management, enterprise mobility, remote monitoring and management, and unified endpoint management—these additional solutions can help you get a clear picture of managed devices on your network and see if they’re up to spec.
THE ENTIRE ORGANIZATION BENEFITS WITH AN MDM SOLUTION
When IT teams can assist end users in real-time wherever they happen to be working, the benefits of MDM solutions extend throughout the company. The primary reason many IT teams adopt their first MDM is for security. Any device that accesses the company IP can expose it to harm. With an MDM solution, you can ensure that such devices are patched, secure, and wipeable in the event of loss or theft.
In addition to the IT problems an MDM solution solves, you can easily reap the rewards of a powerful solution in other ways.
Apple Device Users are Productive and Happy
Apple device users enjoy high productivity rates, and MDM solutions can provide additional efficiency to end users and entire organizations. Many companies run entirely on Apple devices, and this model isn’t new. But whether the Mac computers come in through a bring your own device (BYOD) program or employees are allowed to choose the operating system they’d like to use, Macs can be a boon to industrious employees. A recent Forrester study found that Mac computer users gained 48 hours of productivity over three years.
IT Tasks and Workflows are Streamlined, Operational Efficiency Gives Time Back
MDM benefits aren’t just for end users. MDM solutions can help you and your team push critical updates, remediate issues with software, and help ensure that network data is secure. You’ll appreciate the ability to monitor Apple devices within your environment and the time savings that comes with this convenience.
Apple Devices Cost Less to Support Using an MDM Solution
The question of the benefits of MDM solutions comes down to the bottom line. A recent study by Oxford Economics finds the typical monthly cost of MDM is between $3.25 and $9 per device. While this is a broad range, the cost efficiencies tend to improve as you scale up.
If you’re looking for an MDM solution to help improve your end users’ experience, don’t lose sight of the financial benefits it may have. By saving time and serving Apple device users without having to learn the language of Mac devices, you can reduce friction and improve the day-to-day experience for the IT team and your end users.
AN MDM SOLUTION IS ONE PIECE OF A COMPLETE CLOUD-BASED IT SOLUTION
If you’re starting to think about a standalone device management system, be sure to step back and ask a bigger question: what other IT needs do we have?
Of course, the best way to improve your environment’s security is to have the right support for the devices in your environment. This means shifting to a proactive mindset when it comes to technical support: your IT teams must have the right tools to proactively mitigate risks by monitoring security and providing guidance on critical updates for all devices on your network.
To effectively do this at scale, you need an IT software solution that gives you visibility into the Apple devices your end users are working on and the applications they’re using day-to-day. This will help you reduce the potential for a data breach or ransomware, which may be more likely to occur as you add users to the network.
If you’re looking to cut costs and increase efficiency as the mobile workforce grows, you’ll need to have a scalable, cloud-based solution. The most appropriate tool for this task is a true SaaS solution that provides remote device management for end users and IT administrators, wherever they’re working today.
The benefits of a mobile device management solution are tremendous to IT teams and the organizations they serve. While every environment is different, you now know how to evaluate this type of solution against key necessities when supporting a fleet of devices.