What is Mac Management?

Written by Vince Lujan on March 19, 2018

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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

Windows 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

Active Directory fails in the cloud

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 via Group Policy Objects (GPOs). However, what will set next-generation system management solutions apart from legacy tools like AD is the ability to centralize management for Macs, Windows, and Linux systems. If they can provide cross-platform GPO-like capabilities from the cloud, that’s even better.

The Future of Mac Management

complete mac user management

The good news is that a new generation of Mac management solution is emerging that fits the bill. Called JumpCloud® Directory-as-a-Service®, this cloud-delivered user and system management platform can not only manage a fleet of Macs, but also Windows and Linux machines and users.

As a centralized IT management tool, IT admins have the ability to securely manage access to their Macs, add multi-factor authentication for security, and execute policies to manage systems (such as screen saver lock, disabling guest accounts, and much more) with JumpCloud Policies. These are just a few of the features of the JumpCloud platform.

Specifically, as it relates to Mac, the end result is that IT admins no longer need to try and define Mac management because JumpCloud has redefined the concept for modern IT networks. In other words, when you think of Mac management, think of JumpCloud.

Learn More About JumpCloud

JumpCloud Directory-as-a-Service is a next-generation cloud directory services platform that securely connects users to their systems, applications, files, and networks. What sets the JumpCloud platform apart is that Directory-as-a-Service works regardless the platform, provider, protocol, or location of your IT resources.

Mac management is one of the key use cases of the JumpCloud platform. To discover additional use cases, contact JumpCloud, schedule a demo, or sign up for a free Directory-as-a-Service account today. Your first ten users are free forever to help you explore the full functionality of our platform, and we don’t even require a credit card to get started! The real question is, why wouldn’t you try the JumpCloud platform today?

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