With the release of macOS® 11, Big Sur®, Apple® announced that the mobile device management (MDM) protocol will be the sole method for silently managing configuration profiles on Macs® from Big Sur onward.
The History of Mac Management
In the early days of enterprise IT, user computers generally ran Microsoft® Windows® and were located on-premises, managed by a combination of Active Directory® (AD) and System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM), now ConfigMgr. Few Macs were present in the IT environments of the time so managing them was often low on an IT admin’s to-do list. Many opted to manage them on a need-be basis, rather than creating organization-wide Mac management policies, forgoing the need for additional solutions.
Over time, more Macs made their way into organizations of all types and sizes, becoming the second most popular OS while diminishing Windows’ dominant market share. ConfigMgr developed macOS support in response, but in practice did not give Macs the same first-class treatment it gave Windows devices. To further compound the issue, ConfigMgr doesn’t leverage the MDM protocol to manage Macs, making it ineffective for enterprise Mac management in a post-Big Sur era.
So, how can enterprise IT admins prepare for macOS Big Sur? The short answer is that you need an Apple MDM in your IT management stack.
Using a Unified Cloud Platform for MDM
Any organization with Macs in their environment must adopt an Apple MDM tool to manage their Big Sur Mac devices. Unfortunately, many MDM offerings on the market are point solutions, providing little else to organizations outside of device management. As these point solutions accumulate in a tech stack, they increase costs dramatically compared to solutions that provide unified identity, device, and access management, like a cloud directory platform.
A cloud directory platform centralizes the needs of enterprise IT admins — Macs running Big Sur included — into an all-in-one solution. Not only can such an approach save money by cutting down on the tools required in an IT stack, but it also allows organizations to centralize their identities across all resources and become independent from on-prem infrastructure. Regardless of whether users are in-office or working remotely, a cloud identity platform ensures that admins can manage and control end users’ identities, devices (Mac, Windows, and Linux®), and access.
If you would like to learn more about the future of managing Macs in the modern enterprise post-Big Sur, drop us a note. We’re happy to walk you through how cloud identity platforms with built-in MDM functionality are changing the game for modern IT organizations.
If you are inclined, you can check out our cloud directory platform and MDM features for yourself. You get full access to the platform, and your first 10 users and 10 devices are free. If you need any help, feel free to access our in-app 24×7 premium chat support within the first 10 days.