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The Importance of Being Flexible: SOTI MobiControl and Apple Device Management

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Henry Ford, when making an announcement about the Model T, famously said “Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants so long as it is black.” While it helped with speed and efficiency for the Ford production line, it didn’t really offer choice.

Now, apply this line of thinking to Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) for business-critical mobile operations. You would not expect a retail business to only use Apple devices or a transportation and logistics (T&L) company to only use Android™ devices, or a healthcare organization to only use Windows devices. It just doesn’t make sense.

Imagine looking for an EMM solution and being told “You can manage any type of device, as long as it’s <insert single vendor here>”. It limits opportunities if businesses or industries are only able to use a certain operating system.

You Have More Choice, You Become More Efficient

Chances are, once a business has settled on its mobility strategy, IT is then tasked with implementing it. It’s a tough job when you consider that IT has end-to-end responsibility for selecting, provisioning, deploying, managing, securing, monitoring, protecting and maximizing the devices and apps to be given to employees.

In the early days of MDM, IT had the luxury to choose a single platform and a single solution. It’s like that famous Oprah Winfrey meme where she gave a car to every member of her audience: “You get a BlackBerry! And you get a BlackBerry! And you get a BlackBerry!”

But as the proliferation of mobile devices increased (by 2025, 69% of organizations will manage device fleets of 1,000+ or more), IT saw the need to support multiple platforms. If an organization has 1,000+ devices, it’s highly unlikely that every single one of them will run on the same platform.

Consider the importance of having a variety of business-critical mobile devices to better serve the needs of each user group or line of business (LoB):

  • Warehouse workers need Android tablets

  • Delivery drivers need mobile Zebra printers

  • Executives and managers want the latest Apple iPhone 14

  • Marketing and design want the MacBook Pro 13” with the Apple M2 chip running the Ventura OS

  • Sales associates require Linux-powered radio frequency identification (RFID) handheld scanners

There needs to be flexibility to provide all necessary devices with the right apps, updated security and compliance policies, and required content. Otherwise, the productivity of the workers who rely on them is limited. Without those elements, the device is just a device. It’s not a business tool, a powerful source of information or a helpful time-saver.

Consider the value people get from their personal devices. They load them up with the apps, features and content they need to stay connected and get through the day. The same idea applies to corporate devices. All devices need to be equipped, secured and managed.

And it’s pretty much impossible to do that with an EMM solution that only supports one platform; nor is it ideal to use multiple EMM solutions to manage multiple device types and operating systems.

Finally, choice matters. When researching companies to join, 66% of workers want to select a company that lets them select which type of device to use. If organizations don’t offer that choice, they may lose out on bringing aboard top talent. So, it’s imperative that they are able to manage the devices and operating systems employees are actively and purposefully looking to use.

“IT should look at an EMM solution that offers both a deep level of capabilities with OS flexibility and not be locked into a single platform when it comes to business-critical mobile devices deployed across the enterprise.” - Shash Anand, Senior Vice President, Product Strategy, SOTI

Growing in the Enterprise: macOS and iOS

Circling back to the Model T example in theory, if everyone drove a Model T (and it was close as Ford enjoyed a 61% market share at the height of its popularity), nobody would need to learn how to service any other vehicle.

A robust EMM solution like SOTI MobiControl is designed to support business-critical mobility strategies. It does not make sense for an organization to select an EMM solution and then build a plan around it. Instead, an organization decides on a strategy and then selects how it wants to manage it. That’s what SOTI MobiControl does: it deploys and manages all device types in the enterprise.

Case in point: Apple. In 2021, it was deemed that Apple became a big player in enterprise tech and the numbers back that up:

FOR FURTHER READING

Apple WWDC 2022: Highlights

The increase in bring your own device (BYOD) – as 83% of companies have a BYOD policy of some sort – has played a big role in Apple’s growth in the enterprise. Even though 77% of U.S. based multinational firms prefer Android devices, 57% of consumer users choose Apple. As mentioned earlier, people are looking for device choice at work. Therefore, if people are comfortable using Apple at home, they would prefer to use Apple at work too.

SOTI Support for Apple Devices

Many organizations rely on Apple devices for their business-critical mobile operations, and those organizations rely on SOTI MobiControl to manage and secure them. Here’s why:

  • Powerful security: SOTI secures Apple devices to protect sensitive data and maintain security compliance

  • Rapid deployment: Get Apple devices into the hands of workers faster so they can be more productive sooner

  • Remote support: Diagnose, troubleshoot and resolve any issue impacting an Apple device, whether it's around the corner or around the world

For more information about SOTI support for Apple iOS, iPadOS and macOS devices: