Apple, Hexnode, iOS, Mac, Enterprise, MDM,UEM, device, management

Hexnode’s CEO on Apple in the Enterprise and the Transformation of the Workplace

apples rapidly growing market share of companies generates an extension in the ecosystem of support services for the products. One company that has recently entered the Apple device management space is: hexagon. I spent some time with the founder and CEO of the company Apu Pavithran to see this part of the world through his eyes.

What will the workplace of the future look like?

As we work our way through the pandemic, hear a lot about the new workplace† But no one knows yet what this will be. We know expectations have changed and employees have proven that remote working can be productive, although many managers are having trouble making this transition

How does Pavithran see the future of work?

Looking at it through the lens of device management, he points to the need for cloud-native device management systems. “We can safely say that almost every application will migrate to a fully cloud-based or hybrid solution in the coming years,” he says.

This shift from on-premises systems to cloud-assisted intelligence is likely to manifest as increased spending on SAAS, which is certain. GartnerIDCand others expect.

This will also pose challenges when dealing with multi-cloud deployments, with customer-led pressure on vendors to build solutions that work well with others,” said Pavithran. “In addition to easing the burden on IT administrators, application integration offers many other benefits. Organizations can create integrations that update their infrastructure and enable flexible operations by combining and streamlining data and workflows between different software applications.

“New cybersecurity ideas such as SASE are the result of the growing convergence between existing solutions.”

The boss of Hexnode also sees the new workplace as an intelligent workplace. “From medical to automotive to cybersecurity and e-commerce, AI has deeply impacted almost every industry,” he said, predicting it will continue and accelerate.

Apple is growing in the business

Pavithran definitely sees growth Market share Apple and Mac† Windows was the de facto enterprise operating system 10 years ago. Today the Apple’s revival means millions of Macs, iPhones, and iPads are used in every industry. The feedback is that TCO spend decreases, productivity increases and employee loyalty increases when such choice is offered.

“Apple played a vital role in making the MDM industry what it is today,” says Pavithran. “The device management APIs that Apple introduced in 2010 with iOS 4 introduced many new capabilities…. For example, through Apple Device Manager or Apple School Manager, MDMs can include any Apple device owned by an organization in their fleet. Even the new user provisioning capability has been launched to help MDMs better manage the devices in their arsenal.

“The capabilities Apple released to support device management features has enabled vendors like us to securely manage both personal and business Apple devices. Hexnode has seen significant growth at Apple in the business.”

[Also read: How Apple improved enterprise deployments at WWDC]

The digital transformation of the workplace

As well as moving to other platforms and ways of working, the way work works is also changing.

This digital transformation, accelerated by the pandemic, presents new challenges and opportunities to keep business leaders up at night.

“It is true that digitizing the various processes, procedures and operations of work will bring significant benefits in terms of increased productivity, faster supplies, lower costs, and so on. Unfortunately, the advent of new technologies and solutions requires changes in traditional ways of working. Employees, IT administrators and managers will have to relearn new techniques to keep up. Fortunately, improvisation is one of our family’s greatest blessings, and as new challenges arise, so do new solutions.”

These include MDM APIs that Apple provides, including the relatively recent ability to enroll users to help endpoint management solutions such as Unified Endpoint Management (UEM) or Mobile Device Management (MDM) protect user privacy by separating personal and corporate data.

“I don’t see hybrid work ending any time soon. However, successfully maintaining a remote environment poses many challenges, both in terms of device management and data security,” he says.

That’s why the MDM market is evolving so fast.

“UEMs are even part of next-generation architecture, such as zero trust. One of the principles of zero trust is that you don’t trust the user or the device. Essentially, people have to verify that they are who they claim to be, and devices must verify that they are what they claim to be. UEMs are a class of solutions that give administrators this visibility into their remote devices while providing additional security.”

How MDM works with Apple devices

Apple uses Managed Apple IDs to authenticate user enrollment. Managed Apple IDs are managed and created by company administrators in Apple School Manager or Apple Business Manager. Managed Apple IDs are different from regular Apple IDs. They typically handle things like your email, can manage data storage and app provisioning, and are likely to be fed into endpoint security systems. It is now possible to host both a personal and a Managed Apple ID on a single device, using containerization.

Containerization means keeping the existence of an individual’s personal data separate — you even get access to your personal iCloud storage — in order to strike a balance between security and privacy for both the company and the employee.

UEM/MDM systems provide administrators with complex visibility and management of any device, but this can compromise user privacy if containerization isn’t involved.

The Difference Between Apple User Registration and Android

On the outside, both Apple’s user registration and Android’s work profile are designed to secure corporate resources while respecting employee privacy, says Pavithran.

“The implementation is similar in that both systems create separate virtual containers for work apps and data,” he explains.

However, on Android, the virtual container is visible in the UI as a separate folder or section of the app drawer, meaning different versions of the same application can be operated with different accounts.

“Unfortunately, since Android only sets a framework for this feature, the scope and capabilities of Android’s work profile change according to the device manufacturer.”

It works a little differently at Apple, he said, describing it as a “stealthier” approach.

The separate (business) space is located in the backend and is not so visible.

That means that instead of creating parallel applications for personal use and work, “the same application can create a personal profile with a regular Apple ID and a work profile with a Managed Apple ID.”

Pavithran seems pretty confident Apple will continue to expand business support it builds into its system. “As Apple makes its APIs more available to third-party vendors, the resulting synergy will certainly help secure the business of the future,” he said.

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