Apple @ Work: Again to the fundamentals of Apple Gadget Administration

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Apple @ Work is made available to you by Kandji. The MDM solution was developed exclusively for companies running on Apple. Kandji is a modern, cloud-based platform for centralized management and backup of your Mac, iPhone, iPad and Apple TV devices. This saves IT teams countless hours of manual work with features such as one-click compliance templates and more than 150 pre-built automations. Apps and workflows. Request access.

It’s a new year so it’s time to put away the previous one and start over. This also applies to our knowledge of Apple’s corporate and educational platforms. In January, I’m starting a new series here at Apple @ Work, in which I’ll again deal with the basics of Apple device management for businesses and schools.

About Apple @ Work: Bradley Chambers has been managing a corporate IT network since 2009. With his experience deploying and managing firewalls, switches, a mobile device management system, business Wi-Fi, hundreds of Macs, and hundreds of iPads, Bradley will explore ways Apple IT managers deploy Apple devices, build networks on to support them, train users, stories from the trenches of IT management, and ways Apple can improve its products for IT departments.

Why do you need device management for Apple products?

Apple products will require a device management system in 2021 if you will use them for your business. The amount of work involved in managing devices individually outweighs the cost of purchasing and implementing a device management system.

Include tasks like app deployment, security configurations, operating system updates, and reporting. Without a properly implemented MDM solution, you will have to visit each device individually to make changes or to be confident that your end users can (and will) make them.

App delivery

While you probably don’t have all of your apps from the Mac App Store on the Mac side, you are definitely on the iOS side. If you need to force an update to your CRM application for your fleet of devices, you can do it with MDM. If your organization is migrating to Microsoft 365 and wants everyone to use Outlook for email, you can use an MDM to install it with no interaction with the end user.

Operating system updates

Sometimes you want devices with the latest version of macOS or iOS, sometimes you don’t. With Apple, IT administrators can either force an operating system to be updated, or delay updates for up to ninety days to test compatibility with existing systems and workflows.

Configuration profiles

In configuration profiles, Apple IT administrators make changes to the features that end users have access to. Have you provisioned iPads but don’t want reps to add accounts to the email app? A configuration profile makes this easy. Do you want to disable the camera on an iPhone that you provide? Even easier. When you deploy iBeacons, you can even disable certain features in certain locations. An example of this would be turning off the camera on an iOS device in a secured area. There are innumerable examples of the use of configuration profiles to control macOS functionality and iOS devices.

You can create a single configuration profile that contains all of the payload for your organization. However, you should consider creating separate profiles depending on what you want to do. This setup ensures that changes to one profile will not affect another. Settings that rarely change include device restrictions, WiFi, security and privacy, email, and calendar. Often times, the macOS and iOS settings that might change include VPN, approved certificates, and corporate web clips (intranet, etc.). By keeping them separate, it’s easier to change one thing without breaking another.

What’s next?

Over the next few weeks, I’ll cover the basics of Apple School & Business Manager, Apple device selection, app selection, accessories, and more.

Apple @ Work is made available to you by Kandji. The MDM solution was developed exclusively for companies running on Apple. Kandji is a modern, cloud-based platform for centralized management and backup of your Mac, iPhone, iPad and Apple TV devices. This saves IT teams countless hours of manual work with features such as one-click compliance templates and more than 150 pre-built automations. Apps and workflows. Request access.

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