What is Mac® management? In short, it describes the ability for IT admins to manage Mac users and systems. Of course, IT admins know this is often easier said than done. Nevertheless, as Apple® continues to move into the enterprise system market, IT admins will need to figure out new approaches to Mac management. In this post, we discuss the future of Mac management. But first, we must look to the past.
Traditional System Management
IT admins have been used to excellent IT management tools for their Microsoft® Windows® based users and systems. In fact, one of Microsoft’s most significant moves was to create an ecosystem of management tools that supported IT admins operating in Windows environments.
Microsoft understood that in order for enterprises to adopt their solutions, they needed to provide IT admins with management tools that could provide centralized control and security for their infrastructure. This, of course, led to the creation of tools like SMS (now called SCCM) and later Active Directory® (AD).
Microsoft released these tools at a time when Windows was essentially the only game in town for enterprise operating systems. This made it easy for Microsoft to establish SMS, and especially AD, as the default system management platforms in most IT organizations. As Microsoft tools were quickly adopted, it made management of Windows systems, users, and applications even easier – which subsequently increased the likelihood that Windows solutions would be chosen. This self-reinforcing cycle was brilliant.
Macs Enter the Game
The interesting challenge now, though, is that Apple has made significant inroads into the enterprise IT market. Macs are more prevalent than ever. Of course, the existing Microsoft IT management tooling such as Active Directory and SCCM struggle with Mac users and systems. As a result, many IT admins are looking for new Mac management solutions.
Forward-thinking IT organizations are viewing the problem as not just a Mac system management issue, but also including Mac user management as well. The analog for these IT admins is really how Microsoft leveraged AD to manage both users and Windows systems (Read more...)