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macOS and iOS continue to gain ground in the enterprise field

As shown by the 2017 Jamf Trends Survey, Apple is gaining ground in the enterprise because employees prefer devices they use in their personal lives. The survey looked at Apple in the enterprise – evaluating growth, key drivers for adoption and ease of management. 

Conducted in January 2017 by Dimensional Research, this survey is based on the responses of 300 IT professionals, managers and executives from commercial organizations of 50 to 10,000+ employees from around the world. It shows that standardization on a single device brand is a thing of the past. In fact, the ability to work on a device(s) that an employee chooses and feels comfortable with largely impacts their productivity and job satisfaction, notes Jamf. IT admins are adapting, finding that deployment, device configuration, security and support are easier with Apple operating systems than other operating systems. 

The survey from Jamf, a company that makes Apple management software, finds that an “amazing” 91% of enterprise organizations use Mac, while 99% said they use iPhone or iPad. The use of both Mac and iPad devices continue to rise in the enterprise. In 2016, nearly all of the organizations surveyed reported an increase in both Mac and iOS device adoption over the previous year. 

Nearly half of organizations surveyed (44%) over their employees a choice between Mac and PC, with the majority (71%) offering a choice between different mobile devices (Apple, Android, etc.). This is consistent with Jamf’s Employee Choice Programs survey, which also revealed employees value choice. Eighty percent say it should become standard operating procedure in business. 

Companies of all sizes are considering and implementing choice programs. Since implementing an employee choice program in 2015, IBM has deployed nearly 100,000 Macs, making it the world’s largest choice program and Mac deployment. According to IBM’s internal survey, 73% of employees want a Mac as their next computer. 

In the past, IT admins used a series of complex tools to accomplish a wide variety of management tasks. They were often convoluted and required multiple steps to complete a work flow. Fortunately, that’s no longer the case with Apple. According to Jamf, IT admins confirmed that Apple is as easy, if not easier, to manage compared to its rivals on six critical tasks. 

Traditionally, IT admins spent countless hours building and deploying images – a process that was routinely repeated to accommodate new software. Jamf says that, 

thanks to Apple’s Device Enrollment Program (DEP) — which works for Mac, iPad and iPhone — IT admins now enjoy getting devices to users with zero-touch deploymentand no cumbersome imaging process needed. 

Of those surveyed, 62 % said the Mac is as easy or easier to deploy than PCs. Additionally, 93% said it’s as easy or easier to deploy iPhone and iPad over another platform. 

Windows and Android present a number of security concerns for organizations, including the need for third-party security software, constant patching and the threat of malware. Apple addresses these concerns with industry-leading native security tools that protect against malware and keep devices up to date, according to Jamf. And with privacy as a key concern, Apple takes great strides to protect user data. 

Of those surveyed, 66% said it’s as easy or easier to maintain a secure environment on the Mac versus a PC, with 90% agreeing it’s easier to secure Apple devices compared to mobile devices on other operating systems. 

Apple has a mobile device management (MDM) framework built into its operating systems. This allows IT admins to easily configure a Mac, iPhone and iPad with common settings, such as passcode settings, restrictions, Wi-Fi settings, VPN, email and more. Windows and Android lack the robust framework that allows for easy management. 

Of those surveyed, 58% said it’s as easy or easier to configure a Mac than its PC counterpart. Additionally, 91% said Apple mobile devices are as easy or easier to configure than other devices, such as Android. 

Apple’s user-friendly interface often allows users to intuitively solve problems on their own, thus reducing the support needed compared to other operating systems, according to Jamf. And when more advanced issues arise, IT admins can trust Apple’s support. 

Of those surveyed, 63% said it’s as easy or easier, in general, to support a Mac than a PC. Additionally, 89% of respondents said it’s as easy or easier to support Apple mobile devices over others on different platforms. 

With Apple’s Volume Purchase Program (VPP), IT admins can purchase apps in bulk and distribute them to devices with or without an Apple ID. This makes it easy to get the software that users need when they need it, resulting in maximized productivity, according to Jamf. Microsoft and Google lack a similar program, which makes it more difficult for IT admins to distribute apps in bulk. 

Of those surveyed, 57% said it’s as easy or easier to perform software and app deployment on Macs versus the competition, while 90% said it’s as easy or easier to deploy software and apps on an Apple mobile device instead of another operating system. 

IT admins who manage mobile devices know how easy it is to integrate iOS devices into any existing environment, says Jamf. However, not all IT admins know how easy it is to integrate Mac. 

Apple adopts industry standards, which allows both Mac and iOS devices to join complex Wi-Fi networks and connect to shared drives and servers. Apple also builds out-of-the box integration for mainstream Microsoft technologies, such as Exchange for email and Active Directory for directory services, which means IT admins can easily integrate Apple products into any existing environment. 

While only 36% of those surveyed understand the ease of integration with Mac, 79% of Apple mobile device users said they get it. According to them, it’s as easy or easier to integrate an Apple mobile device into existing environments than it is a mobile device with another operating system. 

Jamf’s survey shows that more organizations are offering their employees the choice between Apple and the competition – a way to meet the demands of their workforce for a “flexible, reliable and intuitive device that users feel productive on.” Jamf says the growing trend of employee choice means a steady increase in Mac, iPad and iPhone in the enterprise.


Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the editor/publisher of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.