Apple is on the pursuit of "as much parity as possible" for its platforms through Apple Business Management (ABM), said Jeremy Butcher, enterprise product marketing at Apple, during the Mac Admins Podcast, which aired last week. ABM is an enrollment program that eases the process of setting up a device.
The company has added more functionality to ABM. One of the new features is a way to configure a different default server for different products. Companies can have one Mobile Device Management (MDM) server to manage all of a company's iOS products or one to manage all of its Mac products.
- In addition to ABM, Apple has taken strides in security and now the iMac Pro, Mac mini, MacBook Air and MacBook pro models from 2018 contain the Apple T2 Security Chip, an upgrade from T1. The chip is meant to eliminate any "tradeoffs for the people doing the right thing" while preventing others from doing things that aren't best practice.
Apple says it wants to make the lives of IT administrators easier and the company's latest changes are making it a more attractive enterprise vendor. All of the things that "make a Mac a Mac" are the features Apple is using to attract enterprise customers.
The company has a loyal consumer base, but transitioning to fit the enterprise product model has been a slower process. Apple products are used in the enterprise, but companies like Microsoft offer device refresh subscription programs.
Apple has always struck a balance between user consent and enterprise control and the development of its T2 chip, further supports that strength. The chip allows administrators to support secure systems on software or hardware. It is now fundamental to the booting process of Macs, Doug Brooks, Mac hardware product marketing, said during the podcast.
iPhones and iPads have benefited from Apple's strong hardware security, Macs are playing catch-up. T2 allows companies to have similar expectations on their Apple computers.
There's no doubt Apple has produced some of the most disruptive technologies of the last decade, but has a long way to go to beat Microsoft's hold on the enterprise.
Apple's ability to innovate in software and hardware is undisputed, but Microsoft's Office 365 and Azure cloud guarantee the company's presence in any IT organization.