Jamf Blog
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October 29, 2021 by Laurie Mona

The basics of Mac and macOS management

Learn the basics of how to roll out, manage, secure and support Macs in your enterprise.

When given their choice of technology, employees often prefer Apple devices for their ease of use. But while Macs are best in class for user experience, IT professionals may not be as comfortable with the ins and outs of Mac administration.

At Jamf, we help elevate and enhance the Apple experience in the workplace for both IT admins and end users. Today more than 50,000 organizations rely on Jamf products to manage over 20 million Apple devices.
With our focus on supporting Apple hardware, we not only offer best-in-class support, but more features that speak directly to the Apple platform.

Our webinar, Mac Management for Beginners, provides the ideal starting point for admins tasked with integrating Macs into an enterprise.

This entry-level tutorial helps you understand how to deploy, manage and secure these devices without sacrificing user experience or productivity. Read on for key points from this training.

Built-in MDM and client management

Apple devices include features designed to streamline Mac support and management.

Mac computers have a built-in mobile device management (MDM) framework which allows baseline admin control. This provides a way for you to have admin rights for work devices, as the devices communicate with your management server to receive your defined configuration profiles and management commands.

But because macOS is a more robust platform than iOS or iPadOS, it may require more advanced functionality than MDM.

MacOS client management allows you to auto-install a Mac agent, also known as a binary, after device enrollment. This creates a hidden admin account, giving IT full admin rights without having to physically be in front of the device. It also allows for more policies and scripts to be run on a computer.

Since agent-based Mac management goes beyond the built-in MDM, you need a third-party mobile device management solution such as Jamf Pro to take full advantage of advanced Mac Management.

Success with Apple services and programs

A key element to being successful in managing and supporting Macs is understanding Apple’s services and programs. Relevant Apple solutions include:

  • Apple Push Notification service (APNs)
  • Apple Business Manager (ABM)
  • Apple School Manager (ASM)

APNs is a delivery method for communications sent to apps – think push notifications. Every Apple device talks to Apple’s push notification service. By obtaining a secure certificate from Apple, APNs is kept private to your organization. Apple server then maintains a constant connection to a device, so you don’t have to. This gives you admin rights to devices which can be changed in real-time.

ABM and ASM are web-based portals for IT administrators to manage content, devices and security.
Enrollment in either of these free programs also provides access to two key features: automated MDM enrollment and Apps and Books.

Automated MDM enrollment allows organizations to pre-configure devices purchased from Apple or an authorized Apple reseller without ever having to touch the device. The moment it’s turned on, the device communicates with Apple and your mobile device management solution for automated enrollment, enforcing organization ownership, while preconfiguring and supervising the device.

Apps and Books streamlines App and book purchasing and licensing by enabling bulk purchasing and licensing and distribution to individuals or devices without Apple ID.

Lifecycle of Mac management

In order to build a successful Mac environment at your organization, it’s critical to understand, manage and support the entire lifecycle.

Jamf Pro aids the key functions across the lifecycle:

  • Deployment and Provisioning – get devices to end users with automated enrollment and zero-touch deployment
  • Configuration Management – tailor individual devices or groups based on end-user needs
  • App Management – streamline software deployment, patching and reporting
  • Inventory – collect data on different levels, build customer reports for information you care about
  • Security – Manage and further support security from an admin level
  • User empowerment – Provide self-help tools, eg. Jamf Self-Service App catalog
  • Path to success

For a deeper dive into the details of Mac management, be sure to review the webinar.

Best practice is to automate processes, include connecting users to resources, efficiently manage devices and applications, and protect devices, data and privacy.

Look to Jamf for more resources

Whether you’re still in the research stage, ready to roll or already in process, Jamf offers resources to help your organization succeed with Apple.

We encourage you to contact our team for on-location or remote assistance to customize your software to fit your needs, enroll in classroom and certification training to get the most out of our products, or take advantage of 24/7 world class technical support from our global call center.

If you’re new to Jamf, be sure to check out our online customer forum, Jamf Nation – our incredible community of over 100,000 Apple IT-focused individuals. Sign up for your free account to get the answers to common questions and learn best practices from users with real-world experience.

Learn more about Mac Management for Beginners by watching the full webinar.

Photo of Laurie Mona
Laurie Mona
Laurie Mona, Copywriter.
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