What you need to know about Mac deployment software
An efficient and effective IT team is one that is able to focus on business solutions. However, most teams think of that as more of an ideal than reality. Constantly, IT professionals are having to deal with fixing issues and patching software instead of actually helping the company grow.
As remote and hybrid-work models are becoming the norm for many companies, this is presenting a whole new set of challenges. IT teams are not just having to rethink how they onboard new users; they also have to take into consideration how they're going to continue supporting those users wherever they are.
That is where Mac deployment software can drastically change how technology departments function. Removing some of the burdens of manually supporting users, teams can use Mac management tools to automate these processes and free up technicians' time. Keep reading to see what features you should be looking for in a Mac deployment tool.
Key features for Mac deployment tools
I think it goes without saying that your needs will vary based on your company. There are a ton of factors to take into consideration. Things like what industry you're in, how many people you need to support, and what your team's experience is will all come into play here.
However, there are a few pretty standard features that can dramatically improve Mac deployment for you. Here's a quick list of things you should be looking for when you're evaluating Mac deployment tools:
- Supports MDM — Apple's mobile device management, or MDM, framework has made it easy to enforce policies on a device. A good Mac deployment tool should also allow you to push MDMs and update them.
- Automated device enrollment — How will your Mac talk to the deployment software? It has to be enrolled. The best tools are the ones that automate this process on your new computers.
- Remote software management — Your deployment tool should help you push new software installations and automate updates.
- Managed Apple IDs — So much of the Apple ecosystem relies on having an Apple ID. Your tool should support managed Apple IDs. That way, your users will be able to use iBooks, the App Store, etc.
Top 3 Mac deployment tools
Obviously, there's no one-size-fits-all solution, but there are some tools that are better than others. Taking things like time, money, and level of effort into consideration, I've put together a short list of the top 3 Mac deployment tools to give you a head start on your search.
1. Apple Business Manager
Hands down, you will not find an easier or faster-to-setup Mac management tool than Apple Business Manager. It's their native solution that makes it easy for IT teams to manage Apple IDs, allow or restrict various apps, and set policies via MDM. You can even link it to your company's Apple Store account — that way, when you buy a new machine, it is delivered to your user already configured and enrolled.
All of the admin work for this is done through your browser rather than an application. So, you can access it from anywhere and manage devices wherever they are as long as they have an internet connection.
Learn more about Apple Business Manager.
Despite it being one of the easiest third-party deployment tools to use, Kandji is still a powerful solution for your company. It offers a whole host of deployment and security features to set up and keep your Macs safe. Additionally, like Apple Business Manager, you only need your web browser to get started.
Find out more about Kandji.
Probably the most comprehensive deployment tool you can find, Jamf does almost everything you could need in deployment software. That being said, it is probably the most complex of the bunch and most expensive to get set up. Depending on how large your company is and how many Macs you need to deploy, Jamf might be too much. But if you're onboarding a few new employees each week, this tool could save you a considerable amount of time.
Check out Jamf.
At this point, if you're still ordering, receiving, and imaging each computer for your company manually, then you're not operating as efficiently as you could be. But Mac deployment tools don't just save your team time; they also make for a better experience for your end user. Hopefully, one of these solutions proves to be beneficial for your organization and frees you up to focus on bigger business priorities.