Offering new employees or those eligible for a technology refresh a Mac computer is nothing new for Insight, the global provider of Insight Intelligent Technology Solutions™ for organizations of all sizes. In fact, the Mac or PC option of work computer has been going on for years as a result of a growing and vocal group of employees requesting Apple.
But, in all honesty, our first iteration of a “choice” program was in name only. As is indicative of the evolution of Mac within enterprise IT, we started by simply making the device available and leveraged provisioning and supporting practices common to non-Apple ecosystems. While Mac was certainly an option, those who chose the device were given a less than optimal Mac experience.
As a company that prides itself on delivering end-to-end solutions to help modern organizations achieve their goals, it was time to practice what we preach and give our Mac choice program the makeover it badly needed (and deserved).
Jamf and Insight partnership
Apple users are inherently different from PC. Most, if not all, who request Apple hardware at work are enjoying these devices at home. When they purchase in their personal lives, they simply unbox, power on and get going. When a new operating system with new features becomes available, they simply download and enjoy. Same goes for app updates or new apps altogether.
We wanted our Mac experience to meet these expectations; that’s where Jamf came in. Leveraging Jamf Pro — Jamf’s robust Apple management solution — we’re able to deliver the at home experience in a corporate setting, starting with zero-touch provisioning.
Without ever physically touching the device, our IT staff can pre-configure employee Macs. We then ship the boxes to our onsite or remote employees. When they power on the device for the first time, they are enrolled in Jamf Pro and all the configurations, settings and resources needed are automatically placed on their devices.
Benefits of a technology choice program
Insight has moved away from corporate technology standards that could potentially breed friction. If an employee feels they are more productive, creative and happier on a Mac, they now have the power to choose that computer and receive the full backing of IT support. Employees also understand that Insight is invested in their success by offering them premium products that help them do their jobs better, no matter what device they prefer.
Similarly, our own clients are seeing an increased demand for Apple devices in the workplace. In an Insight-commissioned Harvard Business Review study on “The Connected Workforce,” half of employers said the freedom to choose is critical to employee retention and workplace productivity, yet only 43 percent believed their current IT helped workers collaborate effectively. Incorporating Macs, iPhones and iPads no longer means upsetting the entire IT ecosystem, which is why end-to-end solutions like our recently launched Insight Managed Mobility for Apple increasingly make sense to allow employees to work the way they want.
Advice for new technology choice programs
First and foremost, you can’t shoehorn Mac technology into legacy practices. If you’re going to adopt Mac, you have to pair it with a solution that ‘gets’ Apple. From a security and management perspective, Microsoft and Apple are not a 1:1 translation meaning you can’t simply use any tool to manage any platform. When you make the decision to offer multiple operating systems, there are going to be things that don’t tie off directly. There’s an art and a balance to getting the most out of each technology investment.
We chose Jamf because of its best-of-breed status regarding Apple device management. Jamf’s management capabilities maximize the options available to IT and optimize the user experience with Mac. We carefully weighed our options, and at the end of the day, went with the most suitable tool to address our Mac offering.
Let’s talk modern technology initiatives at JNUC
As a core Managed and Professional Services operator of the Jamf platform and a customer of Jamf within our internal Mac program, we’ll be onsite at the Jamf Nation User Conference to discuss technology solutions that will help you maximize your hardware investments. Of course, we’d also love to continue the Mac choice conversation while we’re there.
Be sure to swing by the Expo Hall during the October 23-25 event in Minneapolis. Not yet registered? Go here to sign up now.
Also, I'll be presenting in the Lakeshore Ballroom at 11:15 a.m. CDT on Wednesday, October 24, providing much more information on our Insight Managed Mobility for Apple program. Sit in on our JNUC session and then stop by the Expo Hall to get any questions answered.
Evan Tomlin is Director of Solutions Architecture at Insight.