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Jason Dettbarn predicts Apple Silicon will deliver "groundbreaking" advances in enterprise security and management.

Addigy CEO on Apple Silicon and Macs in the enterprise

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Appleholic, (noun), æp·əl-hɑl·ɪk: An imaginative person who thinks about what Apple is doing, why and where it is going. Delivering popular Apple-related news, advice and entertainment since 1999.

In recent weeks, Apple introduced enterprise-focused updates at WWDC, Jamf filed its hugely successful IPO and Apple acquired Fleetsmith. This frenetic Apple-in-the-enterprise activity is generating lots of conversation. I spoke with Addigy founder and CEO, Jason Dettbarn, to get his take on mobility, IT and Apple’s growing place in enterprise tech.

“We see Apple continuing to build more tooling and investment in the enterprise with MDM,” he told me in an email.

“Additionally, we’re extremely excited about Apple investing in fabricating its own silicon for Macs, as well as huge investments in macOS, and the provision of cross-functional iOS Apps now becoming available on the Mac.

He’s also got high expectations around the future of Apple notebooks.

“While it may take a few years, the modern laptop, through the innovations of Apple Silicon, may see its next large leaps in innovation,” he said.

“Development right at the silicon layer means there will be advancements in enterprise security and management that will also be ground-breaking.

Dettbarn worked at IT vendor, Kaseya, before quitting his job and launching Addigy to build a cloud-based IT management platform for Macs.

He notes the built-in Unix core of Macs as part of his motivation for building this, noting the “infinite extensibility” of the platform. “The modern cloud platform era is here, and tools like Addigy are growing quickly,” he said.

We know that Mac and Apple’s market share have expanded in the enterprise, as iPods switched Windows users onto Apple, so too did the iPhone and iPad switch enterprises across to the Mac.

Dettbarn compares this shift to the recent success of Zoom.

Like Apple, Zoom wasn’t adopted by the IT departments but by executives and staff. “They liked the ability to build Zoom rooms, replacing highly coveted conference room real estate,” he said.

When it comes to enterprise adoption of the Mac, Apple’s original PC platform was initially relegated to the marketing department and C-level executives, but over time usage – and demand – grew.

“Apple’s commitment to privacy and security within Mac hardware and software has only strengthened IT’s adoption,” he said.

What really works in the Mac’s favor?

Dettbarn pointed to the five years of usable life enterprises can expect from their Mac deployments. Echoing everyone from IBM to SAP, he observed that building products employees love to use that also deliver compelling return on investment in terms of device lifecycle “is something Apple has nailed.”

While Apple has been developing features to help enterprises manage their Mac fleets more effectively.

Third party vendors large and small help fill in the gaps for the incredibly diverse needs of the business market – in part because most enterprises find it can be burdensome to keep up with new Apple features (Business Manager, Apps and Books, etc.) as they are introduced

Dettbarn is pretty positive concerning Apple’s acquisition of Fleetsmith, “We believe Apple investing in the talent from Fleetsmith is key to providing a better experience for enterprise businesses,” he said.

Microsoft has traditionally been the vendor for the enterprise, but it has pivoted its business away from platform provision and into infrastructure and service provision models, such as Azure or Intune.

Most Mac MDM vendors now support these at some level, which eases the process of managing Macs in business.

“It’s a very important integration that Addigy provides for single-sign-on to the Mac via Azure and many other areas of growing compliance and management for both Windows and Mac together within the enterprise,” Dettbarn said.

No one can ignore the impact of COVID-19 on the way we live, work and learn today.

The move to remote working hasn’t been universal – many of the most essential jobs, sanitation, nursing, emergency services, retail work – cannot be handled remotely, and the pandemic really has revealed who keeps the world going.

It has also revealed fresh problems around enterprise security. As more and more people worked from home, the pandemic exposed the inherent security vulnerabilities in doing so.

“The pandemic has solidified the need to manage the endpoints no matter where in the world they are, providing the highest level of security and productivity for their employees.” said Dettbarn.

He can’t help but point out the inherent security advantages of Apple’s platforms for this, saying:

“I always find it ridiculous when companies complain about the cost of Macs, when it’s less than 1 percent of the employees’ annual compensation (amortized over average Mac lifecycle). Yet these assets are the pillar workhorses of productivity and company security.”

Solutions from MDM vendors help ensure Macs are kept updated, secured and protected without too much user intervention.

“It can provide everything IT is used to and needs for full management, security, and the best overall experience/productivity for their users,” he observes.

“Apple is really good about building a need with the underlying technology framework, and thus AR has not met its potential yet,” he said.

“Apple didn’t ship machine learning alone, it released FaceID; they didn’t ship NFC, they shipped ApplePay. I do think AR is on the horizon, maybe it will be released through Apple Glasses… only Apple knows.”

Are you in the business of digital transformation? An enterprise embracing choice schemes, or a company who’d like to share your experience? I’ve spent years on a mission to learn everything there is to know about Apple in the enterprise, so please drop me a line. (And if you want initial advice to help guide your journey, feel free to ask.)

Please follow me on Twitter, or join me in the AppleHolic’s bar & grill and Apple Discussions groups on MeWe.

Jonny is a freelance writer who has been writing (mainly about Apple and technology) since 1999.

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.

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