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2019 tech predictions from Jamf CEO

In a year that saw Apple top $1 trillion market value, Ohio State turn to iPad to better serve its students, and technology completely redefine the guest experience, where will the tech industry go next?

While it’s always dangerous to play the guessing game, let’s go for it. Here are four directions I see the tech industry going in the future and why.

1. 2019 will be the greatest Windows to Mac migration in history.

Windows users are about to come to a fork in the road as extended support for Windows 7 ends on January 14, 2020. For the 100-plus million users on Windows 7, an operating system (OS) that was released nearly a decade ago, they will have two choices:

  1. Migrate to Windows 10, which was released on July 29, 2015, OR
  2. Follow the growing trend of enterprise users making the switch to Mac

As has been thoroughly documented, the demand for Mac is already here — and even Microsoft knows that. That’s why they entered a strategic partnership with Jamf to accommodate the growing number of Apple requests and help better protect users, data and Mac devices attempting to access Office 365. It is a new era at Microsoft where they are focusing less on hardware and more on making better cloud-based productivity tools users crave, while providing the identity-based security that IT needs.

As organizations continue to see the value (i.e., attract and retain top talent) of offering Mac as a work technology choice and users continue to have a loud voice in the devices they choose to work with, the floodgates are set to open for Mac in the enterprise.

2. Google expanding their position in the device management market.

Despite what analysts may be saying, general purpose management or unified endpoint management (UEM) is giving way to ecosystem management. There are three main industry players that are embracing this modern model of management, and frankly, embracing what customers and the market are calling for.

  1. Jamf for Apple ecosystem management
  2. Microsoft for Office 365 and Azure ecosystem management
  3. VMware for virtual (storage, servers, networks) management

2019 will see a fourth provider officially throw its hat in the ecosystem management ring: Google. Over the past few years, Google has dipped its toe into the device management pool — especially in education. In 2019, Google will more aggressively add management capabilities for Chrome OS and Android, and also non Google-based devices. This will allow them to provide a more holistic user and IT experience across all devices as they seek to make progress with their enterprise strategy.

Three of the four providers come with their own cloud identity stack. Only Jamf pursues the strategy to provide an Apple experience integrated with the leading cloud identity providers.

3. All major identity management providers will provide conditional access for devices.

Security is about two things:

  1. Identifying and validating the user
  2. Identifying and validating the device the user is using

It’s no longer about the network or the firewall. Work has changed and users have changed. People need to access data around the clock and in all corners of the globe. To ensure they can in the most secure way possible, conditional access is key.

Conditional access is a set of policies and configurations that control which devices have access to which services and data. The Jamf and Microsoft conditional access integration ensures that only trusted users on trusted Mac devices are accessing trusted applications connected to Microsoft Azure Active Directory, including Office 365.

I predict the other main identity management providers, Okta and Google, will take note of the unmatched security value of conditional access and look to leverage it in their ecosystem. While the level of conditional access prowess will vary in 2019, the day of ensuring only compliant devices access enterprise resources is almost fully here.

4. (Not for 2019) Apple Watch and HomePod receive management capabilities.

While I’m not willing to go out on a limb and predict Apple’s management strategy around Apple Watch and HomePod for 2019, I am willing to say that if Apple wants organizations to leverage these tools in bulk, device management is required.

My prediction is these devices go the same path of Apple TV. With the release of tvOS 12, Apple made Apple TV a viable option for organizations and schools to leverage. Apple TV apps can now be developed, managed and pushed to devices. Apple TV devices themselves can be managed and the set up process is as simple as having the user plug in the device and go.

I foresee Apple Watch and HomePod to be next on the Apple management spectrum. If hospitals want to deploy Apple Watches to nurses, doctors and patients (and they should) to keep a secure, open line of healthcare information, management is required. To ensure settings and notifications are not turned off on a nurse, doctor or patient’s Apple Watch, management is required. If hospitals, schools, hotels or other organizations want to deploy HomePod en masse to guest rooms, classrooms or meeting rooms, management is required. You get the picture.

A new dawn of technology and device management is at our doorstep, and we’re prepared to embrace it and make it easy for you to as well.