We were fortunate to have Dean Hager, CEO of Jamf, attend our virtual session in the UK – all the way from Minneapolis. Just one of the benefits of virtual working! He made some important and challenging statements relating to the current crisis including:
“Whereas technology was just a part of the employee (and customer) experience pre COVID, it is now the entire experience. There was a smooth transition within Jamf because we had no servers or landline phones. Everything resided in the Cloud."
“Who would have believed that a total office shut down could be achieved in just 24 hours? I sent an email out to 1,300 staff on Sunday night, and on Monday morning we began full virtual working without interruption to customer services.”
“The overriding advantage of the Apple environment in a pandemic crisis is ‘zero touch’ deployment. This has helped countless patients suffering from COVID-19 in hospitals to communicate with their loved ones."
What is interesting about Dean himself is his two seminal experiences that have changed his life and propelled him to prominence. The first was the impact that Apple had on his future career path in 1983 when he turned away from following his father as a truck driver. The second was his master’s thesis in 1995 on the topical subject of telecommuting. Today he heads a pure-play Apple managed service company supporting 16 million Apple devices, and 35,000 clients with offices across 110 countries.
It is only thirteen years since the first iPhone was launched in June 2007, and just eight years in March 2012 when the iPad was launched. Today over a billion people use the iPhone and iPad for every type of communication, verbal and visual, as well as commercial transactions such as banking and shopping. The adoption of the iPhone and iPad was marked by a change in demographics, favouring the millennials who live on digital media. Some companies today consider eliminating laptops entirely in favour of tablets and smart phones.
But it was not just the Apple devices that have changed consumer and employee habits across the globe. It is the supporting eco-system of software vendors and media companies that have developed nearly two million applications now available through the Apple iStore. The ease of use of the Apple portfolio (devices and Apps) has accelerated the trend towards ‘bring your own everything’ (BYoE) that largely displaced Blackberry devices and reduced our enterprise dependence on Windows.
We may well look back on the global move to home working this March as equivalent to the repercussions of 9/11. Both will have profound and lasting consequences for how we plan for business continuity. It may become essential for organisations to own certificates of compliance for pandemic conditions.
Given the high penetration of Apple devices – Mac, iPhone, and iPad into our social and domestic environments, the move to home working has further accelerated BYoE. Some of the longer-term consequences may include:
In all these respects Apple offers greater flexibility over traditional PCs and associated operating systems.
The plurality of devices, platforms and applications places growing emphasis on business risk, compliance, and security for both commercial and public sector organisations. Delegates at the event argued that the new BYOE era is far reaching and includes the entire information ‘supply chain’:
The shift to Apple does imply a range of new security measures relating to corporate applications and data assets. Managers will need to operate multiple cloud platforms with secure interconnections such as AWS, AZURE, Google, and Apple Clouds.
The advent of COVID has accelerated a revolution in end-user computing, favouring a shift to Apple devices and applications, but how can organisations take advantage of and manage the risks of this change? Read the full article available in our app exclusively for CIONET members to find out the main conclusions of this event and join the conversation!
This article was written by Roger Camrass, director of CIONET UK and a visiting professor of the University of Surrey, and is based on the conversations during a virtual meeting on ‘Managing the shift to Apple’ held in May 2020 and sponsored by Jamf.