The Growing Popularity of macOS in Enterprise Environment

  • April 29, 2021

Apple Mac devices are rapidly gaining popularity in the enterprise world. Although not originally designed for work purposes, the Mac is quickly becoming a viable choice for companies. But despite its growing corporate popularity, the most popular operating system used by organizations worldwide continues to be Windows.

macOS in Enterprise Environment
macOS in Enterprise Environment

Why is Windows the most popular OS?

Windows is the meta family of graphical operating systems developed and marketed globally by Microsoft. It has been ruling the market since 1995. And as per Statcounter, Windows 10, hands down, is the most popular windows OS holding a market share of about 78.34% ¹ . Enterprises have adopted Microsoft because it offers a wealth of tools and easy-to-use features. 

The majority of general-purpose personal computers come with Windows OS pre-installed, making it one of the most popular choices for enterprises worldwide. 

Here are some other reasons why Microsoft is the most popular OS in the world:

1. Popular Operating System for Personal Computer

Windows is mostly pre-loaded in a computer at the time of purchase, which may be the reason behind its popularity. People can either use a pre-loaded OS or upgrade or change the operating system. Windows is available in different versions:

  • Windows 10
  • Windows 8
  • Windows 8.1

2. Compatibility

A Windows system is compatible with the majority of software programs in the market. It supports all types of software including games and programs. Microsoft Office application program is what made Windows so popular. Additionally, the Windows world is filled with freeware and shareware, which are free to download and can be used to run several applications on PC.

3. Windows Emerged Early

Windows is popular because many enterprises embraced it early on. Many businesses started using it first, so it got naturally filtered into homes and other offices because individuals were familiar with it.

4. Usability

Windows has always been reliable. Microsoft developed Windows by providing a host of features, ease of use, and reliability. This made Windows intuitive and popular worldwide.

Why it is time to adopt macOS in corporate environments

The last few years have shown something that was unimaginable for the world just a decade ago: Mac in business. According to a survey², 71% of high school students prefer using Mac to PC. Additionally, around 81% of individuals admitted that they want to continue using their Mac computers at workstations as well. And nearly eight out of 10 employees believe their companies should offer them Mac machines to work on. With m

Despite the obvious demand, IT teams are still reluctant to use Mac in offices because they believe macOS won’t cooperate with their PC or the domain. There’s also a misconception that Mac systems are difficult and expensive to repair and maintain. 

Mac is beneficial in the corporate world and can offer several advantages down the road. Here’s why organizations should consider adopting macOS for their work and employees:

1. New tools, greater functionality

macOS is not a mainstay in businesses yet, but creative departments have almost always used Mac machines.

Earlier, IT departments disagreed to administer these devices because they didn’t quite know how to manage them. But of late, however, the market has witnessed a surge of available tools, one such being Scalefusion – offering Mac Enterprise Management Software, that can help IT admins manage the Mac. Certain tools can also integrate Mac into Microsoft Intune for ease of use and supervision. Additionally, organizations are learning to take advantage of web apps that aren’t as platform-dependent as before. 

2. Things to keep in mind before switching to macOS

Here are the benefits of macOS:

  • Despite its high cost, Mac offers better long-term value compared to its competitors
  • macOS can integrate perfectly well with mobile devices
  • It is much more stable and secure compared to Windows

But before extending Mac to employees, the following steps should be taken:

  • Organizations need to have a robust management platform in place for testing the waters, maintaining current business flow, and not risking the device getting out of hand.
  • Hold discussions with Mac users within the organization along with those who are interested in using the platform. Initiate a pilot program with these users because they’re most likely to be the first ones to be invested in the switch. In the pilot program, rope in employees who are unfamiliar with Mac as well. Companies need to show other employees the advantages of switching to Mac and how it will make work easier.
  • Next, create a list of employees who are going to be easiest with the device replacement, and keep the hardest ones at the end. Implement a roll-out schedule for the easiest ones first so that the IT team learns all the lessons without the need to support more difficult areas at work.

3. Ensuring a smooth Mac deployment

Organizations that have done legacy development in Windows apps will be reluctant to offer Mac to employees. But if the IT department can manage Mac lightly, it is definitely worth the switch.

Mac offers workers built-in security and an operating system that is always looking to help them out. It is proven that employees work more efficiently when they’re allowed to use familiar devices at work. For instance, Intel³ has witnessed an increase in productivity by allowing employees to use the same devices at work as they used at home. When employees at IBM were given this choice, 73% of them chose a Mac. 

By adopting the Mac route, companies will find that devices are not as difficult to manage as they previously were in the corporate environment. Statistically, IBM also recorded that compared to Mac, PCs were three times more expensive to manage. 

macOS in Enterprise Environment

A Parallels survey states that over 55% of businesses are now allowed to use Macs to carry out their daily business activities. With Apple’s continuous advancements and innovations each year promising a bunch of surprises for the entire Apple fanbase, Mac has a lot of potential to mark its establishment into the enterprise world. 

Mac for enterprises is a tad bit different from Mac for personal use. Here’s what you need to know about Mac for Enterprise use.

Apple Business Manager

Apple Business Manager or ABM is a web-based portal that can be used by IT administrators to deploy all the following devices:

  1. iPhone
  2. iPad
  3. iPod touch
  4. Apple TV
  5. Mac 

The  Apple Business Manager is a Mac device management tool that works seamlessly well with a company’s chosen mobile device management (MDM) solution to deliver the following purposes:

  • To automate device deployment
  • Purchase apps and distribute content
  • And create Managed Apple IDs for employees

The Device Enrollment Program (DEP) and the Volume Purchase Program

(VPP) have now been entirely integrated into Apple Business Manager, therefore

organizations can smoothly bring together anything they need to deploy Apple devices.

Recent improvements in Mac security, deployment, and management have allowed organizations to transition from a traditional directory binding to an acute provisioning model that can easily deploy processes centering around each user. This model exclusively relies on tools that are specifically built into the macOS. 

Enrolling with Apple Business Manager

Using ABM has a myriad of benefits ranging from ease of use, business data security, to quick and easy enrollment process, among other things. 

Here’s how the Apple Business Manager simplifies the mammoth task of enrolling devices into the system.

Devices

Using Apple Business Manager, IT admins can automate device enrollment. This is very useful because it gives organizations a quick, streamlined process of deploying corporate-owned (supervised) Apple devices and enrolling them in the MDM without the need of physically touching or preparing each device for the process. It reduces time and lessens the number of hours IT admins might have to dedicate to such a cumbersome task. 

Content

With Apple Business Manager, organizations can easily buy content in bulk to push on their devices. Doesn’t matter what the workforce uses, be it an iPhone, iPad, or Mac, ABM’s Volume Purchase Plan can help IT admins gather essential content in volume from the App store, which is ready for deployment with secure distribution and flexible options.

People

Apple Business Manager enables organizations to create as well as manage accounts for each employee, which can be integrated with the existing infrastructure. The tool also provides full access to all the Apple services and applications along with a peek into Apple Business Manager.

MDMs for Mac: An Overview

This section is specially designed for IT admins and contains all the details of mobile device management as proposed by Apple for macOS.

An MDM allows companies to configure devices securely, over the air. Additionally, an MDM can help companies with the three basic list of tasks:

  • Updating software and device settings
  • Monitoring compliance with organizational policies
  • And remotely wiping or locking devices

 There are two basic ways to enrolling devices into an MDM platform:

  • Users can enroll their own devices in MDM
  • Organization can enroll company-owned devices in MDM automatically using Apple School Manager or Apple Business Manager

The following Apple devices have a built-in framework that supports different Mac Enterprise Management Software solutions:

  • iPhone and iPod touch with iOS 5 or later
  • iPad with iOS 5 or later or iPadOS 13.1 or later
  • Mac computers with OS X 10.7 or later
  • Apple TV with tvOS 9 or later

Some more concepts that corporations need to understand before enrolling their Macs onto MDM are listed below:

1. Profile Configuration and Application

A configuration profile is created in an XML file, which also contains payloads that are able to authorize information and load settings and onto Apple devices. With configuration profiles, admins can easily automate the settings configuration, restrictions, accounts,  and credentials. There are three ways to create these files: 

  • Create using an MDM solution 
  • Create using Apple Configurator 2
  • Create them manually

Furthermore, there are two ways to apply configuration profiles on a Mac:

  • IT admins can send profiles to devices and device groups
  • Admins can send profile to users and user groups

Please note that iPhones, iPads, and Apple TVs do not recognize more than one profile. However, Mac computers can have multiple users, which is why admins have the liberty to base payloads and settings for macOS profiles depending on the user.

2. Supervision

A device is supervised only when it is owned by the organization. Supervision provides companies additional control over a device’s restrictions and configurations.

Mac computers are supervised under the following conditions:

  • The devices are enrolled in an MDM using Apple Business Manager or Apple School Manager 
  • If they are running macOS 10.14.4 or a later version
  • They can be upgraded to macOS 11, MDM enrollment was a user-approved 
  • If they run macOS 11enrolled in MDM 
  • The devices’ serial numbers are visible in Apple Business Manager or Apple School Manager 

3. Payload

Companies usually configure a payload for managing certain settings on Apple devices. For instance, IT admins can have different payloads that will require a complex passcode for populating an Exchange account. This account will have all the Exchange server information with an additional VPN configuration for the device.

4. Restrictions

Companies can either enable or disable restrictions to prevent users from accessing certain apps, services, or functions of any Apple device that’s enrolled with the MDM solution. 

5. Profile removal

Simply put, profile removal is solely dependent on how it is installed. Profiles can be deleted through MDM solution, Apple Business Manager, Apple School School Manager, as well as Apple Configurator 

Please note: All profiles can be removed by wiping all the data from the device.

For unsupervised devices, profiles can also be removed by the user.

In Conclusion

Mac offers a UNIX-like experience along with a hist of commercial applications. It runs without viruses, reboots, and upgrades and requires lesser maintenance. That is why it is about time for organizations to adopt macOS in their ecosystem.

Sources:

  1. Statcounter
  2. Blog.shi.com
  3. Forbes.com
  4. computerworld.com

Thousands of businesses rely upon Scalefusion for managing their mobile device, desktops, laptops and other endpoints

Yesha is a professional writer with a hidden talent of promoting persona tactics to catch the attention of a nerd enthusiast. She has a high caliber of attracting, engaging and educating any tech-savvy individual with latest trends and insights in the industry.
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