Apple device management

Apple devices can improve your business’s productivity, enhance your security, and keep your staff happy. While you stand to reap countless benefits by introducing Apple products into your environment, they also present unique administrative challenges. This is particularly true in hybrid environments with Macs and PCs. But MacOS, iOS, iPadOS, and tvOS contain frameworks to support mobile device management (MDM), enabling businesses to manage Apple devices at scale. Maintaining Apple devices is quick, easy, and intuitive with the right MDM solution.

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Woman smiling to camera
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What is Apple device management?

Apple device management refers to the administration of virtually any machine in the Apple ecosystem, including iPhones, iPads, Apple TVs, MacBooks, and iMacs. Aware of the need for effective device management, Apple provides robust features built for the task, including Apple Configurator, Managed Apple ID, Shared iPad, and more.

While managing devices is theoretically possible through Apple Business Manager or Apple School Manager, pairing them with an Apple MDM server greatly enhances functionality and efficiency.

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Must-have Apple device management features

The most effective Apple device management solutions include features to simplify every step of the process from user enrollment through device offboarding.

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Real-time fleet visibility

Get instant insight into an Apple device’s OS version, hardware encryption, settings, installed apps, and more.

Policy Enforcement

Policy enforcement

If a user breaks a defined policy, you can block features, disable functions, or hide apps. You are the law!

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Agentless operation

An intuitive agentless design helps you maintain devices while your end user retains their sense of independence.

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BYOD support

A host of enrollment options enables the use of a personal device for work, restricting company data to business apps and requiring secure passwords to protect your business.

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Profile reinstallation

Automatically reinstall Privacy Preferences Policy, Kernel Extensions Policy, FileVault, and Custom Configuration Profiles when a device checks in after an OS update.

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Flexible app deployment

Robust Munki integration provides additional app capabilities, including supporting the installation of a broader range of software and providing an app store with self-service.

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No touch enrollment

With the help of Apple's Automated Device Enrollment (ADE) program (formerly Apple Device Enrollment Program), automatically connect mobile devices purchased from Apple and Apple Authorized Resellers to your Apple MDM solution.

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Speedy support

You have better things to do than wait around for answers. Look for a solution with responsive support so that you can focus on what you do best: managing devices and bringing users unimaginable joy.

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Rapid deployment

Whether you’re downloading popular apps from the Apple App Store, purchasing enterprise solutions, or developing custom B2B apps, deploy Managed Apps quickly and easily.

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Customizable configuration

Advanced configuration options allow you to automate workflows to your heart’s content. Or shave some time off the configuration process by selecting a premade MDM profile.

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Company-owned license distribution

With Apple Apps and Books (formerly Apple VPP), you can assign licenses to supervised devices without the user’s Apple ID.

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Protection for misplaced devices

Activation Lock and remote wipe capabilities help prevent unauthorized access to corporate data on lost or stolen devices.

What are the benefits of Apple device management?

The main benefit of Apple device management is the ability to customize and secure machines. However, this breaks down into a whole host of other potential advantages:

  • Support bring your own device (BYOD)

  • Enhance security 

  • Track device locations 

  • Block or hide apps 

  • Manage updates

  • Control company-owned data and licenses

  • Simplify enrollment and provisioning

  • Maintain visibility 

  • Comply with regulations 

  • Streamline workflows 

  • Provide better support 

  • Increase mobile productivity 

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SimpleMDM vs. leading competitors

SimpleMDM’s Apple device management

Leading competitors

Agentless deployment

yes

no

Munki integration

yes

no

Easy setup and use

yes

no

Streamlined, intuitive interface

yes

no

Extensive knowledge base

yes

no

Speedy email support

yes

no

30-day trial (no credit card required)

yes

no

How do you manage Apple devices?

Effective Apple device management typically requires a dedicated MDM solution. Most businesses do not rely exclusively on Apple products, instead maintaining a mixed environment that includes Windows PCs. This requires separate management of the distinct platforms.

As you plan your Apple device management approach, consider these steps:

  • Determine the number of company-owned and employee-owned Apple devices 

  • Consider what work-related tasks employees use their devices for 

  • Assess the necessary business apps  

  • Establish clear policies 

  • Align your Apple device management approach to a broader IT management strategy

  • Train employees on your Apple MDM software and policies 

  • Explain the roles of privacy and data protection, particularly in BYOD setups 

  • Implement zero-touch enrollment 

  • Monitor for suspicious activity or data usage 

  • Review reports regularly

With careful planning and preparation, managing Apple devices is painless even in mixed OS environments.

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Apple device management in a BYOD environment 

In a BYOD environment, balancing Apple device management with employee privacy concerns becomes paramount. While you need visibility into corporate-owned apps and data, team members often push back if your control over their personal devices extends too far. MDM software supports User Enrollment, which has several features to satisfy both employees and IT teams:

  • Personal Apple ID remains active alongside Managed Apple ID on the device 

  • Corporate control over owned data and apps 

  • Deletion of Managed Apps and corporate data when a device is unenrolled from the MDM 

  • User-owned apps are invisible to administrators 

  • No collection of device-identifying information 

  • Shared iCloud access

Whether you like it or not, employees often use personal devices for work. With the right MDM solution, you don’t have to give up full control of your corporate software assets just because they’re on a privately owned device.

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Why should businesses use an Apple device management solution?

Using an Apple device management solution simplifies virtually every aspect of device administration:

  • Configuring settings 

  • Distributing apps and books 

  • Separating personal and corporate data

  • Ensuring device security 

  • Supporting productivity 

  • Maintaining user privacy

A well-implemented Apple device management solution can save time for both your IT team and your end users. By balancing visibility and control with privacy and productivity, the right MDM software is a win-win for everyone involved.

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How do you choose the right Apple device management solution?

Selecting the best Apple device management solution for your business requires an understanding of your environment and goals. Follow these steps:

  1. Set a budget 

  2. Assess the number of BYOD and corporate-owned devices in your environment 

  3. Consider whether you prefer a cloud or on-premises solution 

  4. Weigh each solution’s features and functionality  

  5. Determine how the MDM fits your process 

  6. Read customer reviews 

  7. Check the trial period 

Before committing to a solution, schedule a demo or sign up for a trial to see how it works for you.

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