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    The Growing Popularity of macOS in Enterprise Environment

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    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 PC 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. 

    Read More: macOS Shell Scripts: Introduction and Use Cases

    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

    Yesha Gangani
    Yesha Gangani
    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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