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Apple Management Concepts for Deploying and Maintaining iOS 7 and OS X Mavericks Devices

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This chapter from Managing Apple Devices: Deploying and Maintaining iOS 7 and OS X Mavericks Devices defines Apple’s goals related to iOS 7 and OS X Mavericks Devices, introduces the key iOS and OS X features and services you will use when managing Apple devices, and explores the most common deployment scenarios, or models, to provide a framework on which to build your specific deployment plans.
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Goals

  • Understand Apple’s design goals and methodologies for device management
  • Describe the various technologies provided by Apple for deploying and maintaining iOS and OS X devices
  • Consider which deployment scenario may best meet your needs

In 1997 Apple famously affirmed its corporate philosophy by introducing the highly successful “Think different” advertising campaign. Through the years, this motto has continued to ring true as Apple has introduced products that have dominated new categories in personal computing. The iPhone redefined the concept of a smartphone. Then a few years later, Apple thought differently again by creating the iPad and becoming the standard bearer of tablet devices. Even Apple’s mainstay, the Macintosh computer line, has matured into what many consider to be the best examples of desktop and portable computers.

These successes clearly illustrate that Apple’s “Think different” design philosophy has worked exceedingly well. Given this record, it should come as no surprise that Apple’s interpretation of how to best manage information technology (commonly abbreviated as IT) is significantly different than the approach of its competitors. This lesson, and much of this guide, intends to explain how Apple believes IT administrators should manage iOS and OS X devices.

The lesson begins by defining Apple’s goals because understanding them will clarify the reasoning behind the technology design. Then, you will be introduced to the key iOS and OS X features and services you will use when managing Apple devices. Finally, you will explore the most common deployment scenarios, or models, to provide a framework on which to build your specific deployment plans.

Reference 2.1 Understanding Apple’s Goals

Like any publicly held corporation, Apple’s primary goal is to make a profit and return value to its shareholders. To accomplish this goal, Apple sells only a few categories of products; but those product categories are supported by countless interconnected technologies and services. Despite this complexity, everything Apple produces shares a single common goal: to provide the best possible customer experience.

Apple’s Customer

Attempting to create great customer experiences sounds like an obviously good idea, but it begs the question, “Who is Apple’s customer?” The hard truth is that the end user, not the IT administrator, is the “customer” that Apple is trying to please. It’s the employee crafting a message using the built-in Mail application on her Mac, not the Exchange administrator. It’s the student downloading an eBook on his iPad, not the network administrator who installed the Wi-Fi. It’s the CEO sending a secure chat message to her assistant via iMessage, the contents of which cannot be intercepted by anyone else, even Apple.

Apple considers ease of use, access to content, and strong personal privacy as the primary elements of a great customer experience. Everything Apple creates is in the service of the person using the device, not the people managing it. Understanding this point of view is essential to understanding Apple’s view of the IT administration.

How Apple Sees IT

Although, Apple’s overall philosophy is user-centric, don’t think that Apple doesn’t care about the needs of IT administrators. Even a cursory look at the management technology provided for iOS and OS X devices shows that great care was taken in its design. In fact, Apple views the IT administrator’s role much as they view their own: as a provider of technology that is primarily in service of the user.

In many ways, Apple’s focus on the needs of the end-user goes against many traditional IT administration goals. Traditionally, IT focuses on the needs of the organization by placing an emphasis on uniformity, restricting access, and organizational security. In contrast, Apple technology enables IT administrators to focus on the needs of individual users by placing an emphasis on personalization, easy access, and user privacy.

This emphasis can understandably frustrate IT administrators when their organizations require more restricted device configuration. Apple is listening to these complaints, and as iOS and OS X management techniques have matured, Apple has increased control for IT administrators.

However, even as Apple gives more power to IT administrators, it’s important to remember that device management of Apple devices is always going to be on Apple’s terms. Apple famously holds tight control to all aspects of its products, from hardware to software to services. Therefore, organizations that deploy Apple products are inevitably choosing to embrace Apple’s management philosophy and tools. In other words, any organization or IT administrators that try to work in opposition to Apple’s technologies and strategies are not going to find success managing Apple devices.

This Guide’s Goal

In summary, understanding Apple’s design goal will help you understand Apple’s technology management philosophy and thus the tools provided. Always remember that Apple’s goal is to provide the best possible end-user experience for their products. Ergo, the goal of this guide is to help you learn the tools and techniques that will become part of your plan to provide the best possible experience for users in your organization.

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