From chaos to compliance: tackling unmanaged macs at the University of Glasgow amid government regulations

In this JNCU 2023 session, Chris McBride, MyMac Service Lead at the University of Glasgow, and Rob Potvin, Senior Consulting Engineer at Jamf, walk through how the University of Glasgow consolidated their Mac management and security with Jamf — meeting government standards along the way.

September 21 2023 by

Hannah Hamilton

Scotland’s University of Glasgow is one of the oldest universities in the English-speaking world, carrying a tradition of academic excellence in many fields while engaging with local communities. The nearly 600 year old school has seen a multitude of technological advancements — now, they are using Macs.

It was time to manage and secure all the Macs throughout the university. McBride and Potvin estimate there are between 5000 and 8000 Macs in the university, some old and some new. To manage these devices, they needed:

  • Inventory of the device
  • Device health
  • Device security (which wasn’t standardized to start)

Getting started with management and security

Device management and security is necessary to meet government security standards and security compliance. McBride cites the UK’s Cyber Essentials: “A comprehensive cybersecurity framework offering enhanced protection against threats, ensuring data integrity, confidentiality, and availability,” according to the National Cyber Security Centre.

Because the government partly funds the university’s research, all devices had to meet government standards of management and security to continue receiving funding.


The University of Glasgow was using multiple Microsoft products for their device fleet:

  • Intune
  • Microsoft Entra ID (formerly Azure AD)
  • Defender
  • SCCM

And they wanted to take steps to consolidate procurement through one department to streamline their process. These requirements formed the foundation they needed to move forward with their management and security efforts.

Finding an MDM

McBride needed an MDM that would support his efforts to:

  • Build a team to manage Macs
  • Train his team quickly
  • Inform faculty/staff why devices were now being enrolled in an MDM

McBride found Jamf and was particularly interested in Jamf Premium Pilot’s path to production built in-house.

Jamf Premium Pilot

Potvin lays out the benefits of Jamf Premium Pilot:

  • Access to the best of Jamf’s enterprise-level resources
  • Production-ready within 90 days
  • Seamless onboarding experience
  • Creation of a customer-specific project plan
  • The right conversations with the right people
  • And more (watch the presentation for more information)!

User enrollment

The university engaged its end users in the MDM process, ensuring they were building a system that was secure and functional for research. They relied on User-Initiated Enrollment to get devices enrolled. This process would:

  1. Assess the device
  2. Inventory the device
  3. Upgrade the OS
  4. Set up the Mac
  5. Migrate to Jamf Connect
  6. Secure the Mac

Any Macs that were too old were replaced, and up-to-date software was provided in Self Service. In the session, Potvin details what User-Initiated Enrollment looked like for the University of Glasgow and how new devices are managed out-of-the-box with Automated Device Enrollment.

The result

Beyond passing their audit, the University of Glasgow was able to get rid of old technology in the organization, improve their security posture, provide data-driven insight to IT and security teams with Jamf Protect and Jamf Pro data, and manage identity with Jamf Connect and Microsoft Entra.

Register for JNUC to access this session as well as others on demand.

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