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IT professionals who manage Apple mobile devices such as iPhones and iPads must find the balance of keeping users productive and simplifying their own management processes.
Many organizations deploy a mobile device management (MDM) or enterprise mobility management (EMM) tool, but these tools must interface directly with Apple's native management systems to effectively manage the devices. This is especially crucial for organizations that use the Apple Device Enrollment Program, which allows IT to ship new devices to a user without configuring it first.
Apple will discontinue the Device Enrollment Program at the end of 2019, however, so organizations must migrate to the Apple Business Manager program if they want to maintain access to this automatic enrollment option. IT professionals should learn about all the benefits of Apple Business Manager before they make this decision.
What does IT need to know about Apple Business Manager?
Apple Business Manager has a number of features -- in addition to the Device Enrollment Program -- that help IT deploy BYOD and fully managed devices. This allows IT to remotely monitor and configure device and app policies that address security and user privacy, which is especially helpful for remote workers.
Apple Business Manager allows IT to perform the following tasks:
- configure and update device settings;
- deploy applications in bulk without needing to touch each device directly;
- monitor compliance to policies such as app usage and encryption;
- query devices for settings and content; and
- remotely wipe or lock devices if lost or stolen.
One of the benefits of Apple Business Manager is the program's compatibility with many of the major on-premises and cloud-based MDM and EMM tools, such as MobileIron and IBM MaaS360. IT needs an MDM or EMM tool to use certain Apple Business Manager features such as linking devices with the company directory and removing device configurations. Most organizations that deploy programs such as Apple Business Manager probably already run MDM or EMM, however, so this requirement shouldn't be an issue for them.
The one downside to this program is that it only supports Apple devices. Therefore, organizations that function as a mixed shop -- meaning they also deploy Android devices -- will need equivalent features in an MDM or EMM tool that works alongside Google services.
For most organizations, however, the benefits of Apple Business Manager can increase support functions for IT, which reduces costs and increases device and data security.
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