Remember the Mac vs. PC commercials? The IT divide has added new platforms but is still challenging to navigate today.
While the concept and tools around unified endpoint management are quite mature, many organizations still find themselves in the multi-platform “dark ages,” divided between PC and Mac. If considered, mobile devices would be a third category altogether, with many mobile platforms remaining unsupported. Fundamentally, IT is still compartmentalized. Unified endpoint management attempts to break not only these multi-platform divisions between PC and Mac, but also between computers and mobile - of all mobile platforms
The Rise of the PC vs Mac Divide
Looking back, we can see how organizations arrived where they are today. We started with PCs. Apple products came into the picture, but they were niche. “Just” for designers. Smartphones entered the picture, first corporate-owned and only for a select few.
With every new change, we adapted, adding solutions designed only for specific platforms or specific functions of endpoint management. Over time, teams developed their own way of managing, often with a “divide and conquer” approach. Traditionally, that divide has been Mac vs. PC.
Fast forward to today: organizations struggle with a complex mix of manual processes and point solutions that likely don’t cover all the devices employees use (particularly mobile). We have teams doing essentially the same thing across different device types. It’s complex, time-consuming, and leads to compliance challenges. That traditional Mac vs. PC divide has evolved to become laptops and desktops vs tablets and mobile devices. The answer is Unified Endpoint Management.
Examined in this light, shifting to unified endpoint management makes total sense. And yet, we know that there is a significant cultural shift that needs to take place to move away from existing processes, particularly when it comes to the original (and entrenched) PC vs Mac divide.
Unifying Your IT Teams: Focus on the User
If you are looking to unify your IT teams across platforms and move beyond this PC vs Mac mentality, the first step is to move toward a “user first” mentality.
End users rarely use only a computer anymore. By 2020, it’s expected that the number of connected devices per person will be 6.58 - and chances are, people will want to use more of these devices for work. For the long term, siloed IT teams are not sustainable when it comes to empowering end user productivity.
It once required very different skills and knowledge to manage deployment, user configuration, patch management, or troubleshooting across various platforms. However, today’s unified endpoint management solutions provide a consistent experience for the provisioning and maintenance of every device (mobile or computer). Using standardized workflows based on Filesets, Smart Groups, and a powerful reporting engine, FileWave enables easier cross-training of IT teams to manage multiple systems.
Today, endpoint management is becoming less about devices and apps and more about managing relationships:
The relationship between user and device. Who owns it? Is it BYOD? Company-owned?
The relationship between the company and the app. Is it VPP? An enterprise license?
The relationship between employee and company. What apps and settings are needed for each person’s job?
The relationship between the user, the company, and the technology ecosystem. Where are the apps coming from – the App Store? Google Play?
The relationship between the devices and the vendor. Are the OS and its related patches distributed from Apple, Microsoft, or internally? How can we manage the timing and delivery?
The list goes on - all of the relationships overlap, and relationships are complicated. Managing those relationships is the core goal of Unified Endpoint Management.
So, can you conquer the PC vs Mac mentality in your IT team? It's all in how you frame it. Yes, there will be a learning curve. Ultimately, the choice to move toward unified endpoint management is strategic; a choice to break down IT silos so that IT teams can spend less time on repetitive tasks like troubleshooting and more time on managing the evolution of these relationships.