July 4, 2022


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It’s been a giant yr for Apple within the enterprise

Between WWDC 2021 and the upcoming WWDC 2022, Apple has made important adjustments that have an effect on the enterprise neighborhood. It’s price having a look again at what modified and what which may imply shifting ahead.

Declarative administration

One of many largest adjustments dates again to final yr’s convention. Declarative administration is essentially the most important change to Apple’s MDM (cell gadget administration) structure because it debuted in 2010.

The benefit of declarative administration is that it strikes a lot of the coverage administration to gadgets themselves, quite than have configuration profiles on every gadget that require it to test in with an MDM service and report its state. Declarative administration permits the gadgets themselves to trace their compliance in opposition to the detailed set of declarations. Solely when they’re out of compliance or when receiving new declarations do gadgets want to attach. Thus, gadgets can handle their state with out the necessity for fixed or repeated connections.

This can be a huge deal, even when most of the configuration choices are extraordinarily just like the MDM capabilities. It reduces community congestion and on-device response time. As Apple and different MDM distributors transfer to fully cloud-based options, these enhancements assist present a big financial savings with regards to bandwidth and person satisfaction.

It is clear that declarative administration is the long run for managing all Apple gadgets in a corporation and that the pre-existing MDM framework has been deprecated.

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It’s simple to think about that framework will ultimately be out of date and unsupported. This has penalties as a result of older OSes (iPadOS, macOS, and tvOS) that may’t run the suitable variations that assist declarations will ultimately should be changed. Given Apple’s efforts to assist older gadgets with present software program, this is probably not a right away concern. However IT leaders ought to take discover.

Apple Enterprise Necessities

Final November Apple launched Apple Enterprise Necessities, a cloud-based MDM service for small to midsize enterprises.

This places Apple in an attention-grabbing place. For 12 years, the corporate allowed third-party distributors to offer enterprise MDM options quite than providing them itself. Now Apple is competing with these MDM distributors.

It additionally permits Apple to leverage iCloud and managed Apple gadgets for customers to create a collaboration platform within the mould of Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace.

Apple Enterprise Supervisor/Apple College Supervisor

These options are half and parcel of managing Apple gadgets. As with Apple Enterprise Necessities, Apple has moved a lot of the provisioning course of to the cloud with a device that integrates with third-party id and authentication platforms (suppose Azure AD) and/or with managed Apple IDs. Though these platforms had already existed, the cloud-based emphasis is critical.

Unlisted apps

One other stunning change that Apple rolled out over the previous a number of months is assist for unlisted apps. Unlisted apps are downloaded utilizing the iOS or macOS App Shops, however they aren’t seen when looking or looking the App Shops. The one technique to entry them is through a hyperlink supplied by IT departments.

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This appears a little bit of an odd change, nevertheless it makes it doable for organizations to deploy apps with no need to depend on MDM to provision the apps. This matches effectively with Apple Enterprise Necessities and for organizations that do not need to totally undertake MDM options. It additionally works effectively for organizations that depend on outdoors consultants/contractors and must deploy in-house enterprise apps however do not need to enroll their private gadgets.

The loss of life of macOS Server

I’ve written in regards to the finish of macOS Server and the truth that it had been on the chopping block for years earlier than Apple’s choice to axe it this spring. By the top, there have been solely a few companies that continued to perform in macOS Server.

The transfer matches with the methods outlined above — shifting gadget administration and provisioning to the cloud quite than utilizing an on-premises answer. In shifting ahead with Enterprise Necessities and Enterprise Supervisor as the brand new keys to Apple gadget administration, this was a completely predictable transition.

The place issues go subsequent

With a lot having occurred on the enterprise entrance over the past 12 months, I don’t count on to see any main enterprise adjustments going into Apple’s numerous platforms. I count on many of the enterprise observe at WWDC to be targeted on clarifying how issues will work on this MDM cloud actuality.

There are prone to be some refinements of issues like declarative administration, user-based enrollment, and managed Apple IDs, however I do not count on any paradigm-changing bulletins, classes, or labs.

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