Our Favorite Things from WWDC 2021 for IT and Business
by Elaine Evans, on Sep 3, 2021 10:34:23 AM
WWDC 2021 had a lot of exciting announcements and enhancements this year when it comes to using Mac, iOS, and beyond (anyone else excited about SharePlay or Tab Groups??). In fact, there were so many things related to IT and managing Apple devices that they had multiple break-out sessions to cover lots of new material!
Springboard IT decided to pull together some of the things that we are most excited about for businesses and IT that came from WWDC 2021:
Erase All Contents and Settings on a Mac
This feature will make macOS wiping more akin to an iOS experience. This means that you can erase user data from a Mac without having to reinstall the OS. This is a massive improvement and a time saver for IT teams!
BYOD Enhancements with Managed Apple IDs
Among other BYOD enhancements, Apple is introducing iCloud Drive for Managed Apple IDs. This will further protect and separate an employee’s personal data from the corporate data while allowing business Managed Apple IDs to take advantage of storage space. Check out these articles for more information on Managed Apple IDs and User Enrollment (BYOD device enrollment).
Data needs to be protected within an organization and Managed Pasteboard gives businesses more control over where copied items can be pasted. Imagine being able to protect sensitive data like credit card numbers, social security numbers, and more from (accidentally/purposely) being copied and pasted into a personal email or text message. FYI: the devices need to be managed in order to take advantage of this.
macOS Update Enhancements
Ensuring devices get security updates is one of the foundations of cybersecurity. There is enhanced functionality for deferring, pushing, and scheduling updates which will make it easier for organizations to deliver these security-critical items to their teams in a more user-friendly manner.
Previously all updates were treated equally from a device management standpoint. Apple is also distinguishing between major and minor updates to give IT the power to push critical updates while doing minor updates in a controlled window for the least amount of user interruption.
Much like “Do Not Disturb While Driving,” Focus on macOS Monterey allows you to silence notifications. However, now you can build custom Focus options and receive notifications from some apps while silencing others. You can set it so Focus syncs and applies across your devices. Lastly, Focus can let people know when you’re busy (while still allowing urgent messages to come through).
Pretty great feature to help you stay concentrated on a particular task!
Recovery Lock for Mac
IT admins will now be able to set a password before a user can boot into recovery mode. This will prevent malicious or accidental data comprises from Recovery Mode. Another great additional security feature.
Configurator Support for macOS (can post enroll into ABM/ASM!)
Configurator will now support configuring macOS. You can use Configurator (which also will now work wirelessly (!) on an iOS device) to set up Macs seamlessly. Also, Configurator allows configuring of Macs via either Restore/Revive.
For businesses and IT teams this change also means that organizations can now post enroll Macs into Apple Business/School Manager (previously only available for iOS). Having the Macs in Apple Business/School Manager is Apple’s way of determining machines are company-owned and this will allow you greater security control over these devices with an MDM.
Read more about why ABM/ASM is important here.
Declarative Device Management
Nerd alert here, but Declarative Device Management is the next frontier. The TLDR? This makes managing Apple devices more efficient and therefore faster by cutting down on how often the device needs to talk to the server for management instructions.
Check out the full WWDC video here.
Apple continues to improve upon its appeal to the business community. With the data showing that using Macs in the workforce is more affordable and preferred, more organizations can start looking at practical ways to integrate Apple devices into their organizations.