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Employees in a small business work on MacBooks around a table together.
May 11, 2022 by Haddayr Copley-Woods

When small- and medium-sized businesses must go beyond MDM

Mobile device management (MDM) has become a basic requirement for small businesses to keep things running smoothly. But many small- and medium-sized business need powerful, scalable solutions with expanded capabilities to survive, let alone compete in today’s market.

MDM: just a beginning

Mobile device management (MDM) is a basic small business must-have.

But small business needs have evolved beyond the basics. Those that rely exclusively on a basic MDM to manage their technology could save time, money and the anxiety of exposure to security risks by taking their tech a step further.

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) reported that, in all OECD countries,* small- and medium-enterprises account for the vast majority of companies and thus employers. Unfortunately, small-and medium- businesses were the worst hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.

However, the National Institute for Health discovered one way in which small- and medium-sized businesses had an edge on surviving the sudden change from in-person to remote: “Different from previous crises, like the 2008 financial crisis, the lockdown imposes digital disruption. Therefore, the more digitally mature an organization was before the lockdown, the less radical (digital) changes it needs and the more chances of its surviving.”

Move from ‘survive’ to ‘thrive’

As the world shifts to a more long-term mobile workforce, increased personalization and a more perilous online environment, small- and medium-sized businesses must adapt to survive. To thrive, they need to think like the enterprise. And for many, basic device management simply won’t cut it.

Apple ‘enterprise’ management isn’t just for the enterprise

Small businesses need powerful yet intuitive solutions: solutions that will expand capabilities without adding employees and that will save the organization time and money through automations and robust security systems. They, like the enterprise, need capabilities for connecting, protecting and empowering their workforces.

Complete Mac device management

Many small- and medium-sized businesses choose Apple for its stable, interconnected ecosystem— and Apple has solid native features for managing iOS and iPadOS. But those using macOS need robust capabilities for managing their Mac devices as well.

While native Apple features offer a 12-payload subset of the MDM framework for Mac device management in beta, Jamf supports a superset: combining the MDM framework and the Jamf Agent. This allows us to offer solutions that go beyond basic MDM to provide businesses with full macOS lifecycle management that automates device enrollment, inventory collection and more.

Organizations that need the ability to install and update third-party Mac apps, to support older operating systems prior to macOS 12.0.1 and to leverage extension attributes that streamline inventory management need to go a step beyond basic MDM to get those needs met.

Smaller businesses that need a more complete solution that is still manageable without an IT department can benefit from a small business solution such as the Jamf Fundamentals plan. Plans like these offer MDM. They also offer password syncing and cloud credentials, deployment for custom apps and profiles, an app catalog and malware prevention rolled into one.

A full-service Apple Enterprise Management solution such as a Jamf business plan provides small- and medium-sized businesses who need more. It also streamlines user, app and resource connections while delivering state-of-the-art device security that goes well beyond what Apple offers natively.

And small businesses need to be able to move nimbly, ready to move when the opportunity arises. That’s why a solution that offers same-day support the minute new Apple operating systems drop is essential.

The right solution empowers employees and saves businesses time

Management solutions that offer zero-touch deployments and that power bring your own device (BYOD) initiatives have an advantage: when a new hire opens up a new device and is able to get to work right away, small businesses boost productivity. All without a call to the IT service desk.

Small- and medium-sized businesses know all about leveraging other experts to boost their business. When choosing a more robust management system, companies should choose a solution that can easily deploy, support and patch common third-party apps that are not in the App Store.

And the right Apple Enterprise Management system can empower employees to select which apps they need on their own. Self Service, which displays all available apps including those outside of the App Store in a central location for the user, saves small businesses IT time and money, as well. Businesses don’t waste software licenses on employees who don’t need to use them, and they can track who has which app installed on their devices.

Small businesses need a strong security partner

While small businesses choosing Apple enjoy better security and stability than others, they also need a solution that includes the security and identity functionality businesses needed to thwart modern threats.

The reason? Small businesses are an especially attractive target for cybercriminals, who desire their data and assume that smaller organizations won’t have sophisticated security systems in place. In fact, as of 2021, organizations with 1–250 employees have the highest targeted malicious email rate of all companies.

Whatever device management solution a small business chooses, they must ensure that they can protect their customer, employee and company data.

A robust solution offering state-of-the-art threat protection and remediation using behavioral analytics such as Jamf Protect and Jamf Threat Defense is the best way to protect your devices, data and people.

Securely connecting your employees

Small- and medium-sized businesses must attract and retain talent, and they compete with large organizations for the same people. Ensuring a secure, reliable and user-friendly zero-trust connection can allow small businesses to offer remote work opportunities while also keeping company and employee data secure. Make sure that the solution you choose empowers flexible work with these protections and supports, such as Jamf Private Access does.

Give your business room to grow

Small businesses that plan to grow must be especially careful to lay the foundation for a larger organization, and an Apple Enterprise Management system with security, granularity and increased connectivity can lay that groundwork.

*The OECD’s 38 members are: Austria, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Want your small business to thrive?

Take a look at what Jamf has to offer that goes far beyond basic MDM.

Photo of Haddayr Copley-Woods
Haddayr Copley-Woods
Jamf
Haddayr Copley-Woods is a senior copywriter in Jamf's marketing department. She blogs about education, accessibility, security and other issues affecting Mac admins.
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