Hexnode’s CEO on Apple’s Enterprise and Workplace Transformation

Apple’s fast-growing enterprise market share is creating an expansion in support services for products. Hexnode is a company that recently entered the Apple device management space. I spent some time with the founder and CEO of the company Apu Pabitran to see this part of the world through his eyes.

What will the future workplace look like?

When we work through epidemics, we hear a lot about new workplaces. But no one still knows what it will be. We know expectations have changed and employees have proven that remote work can be productive, although many managers are having trouble transitioning.

How do you see the future of the work?

Seeing it through the device management lens, he points to the need for a cloud-native device management system. “We can safely say that almost every application will move to a completely cloud-based or hybrid solution in the next few years,” he said.

Moving from an on-premises system to cloud-backed intelligence may result in increased costs for SAAS, which Gartner, IDC and others certainly expect.

It also challenges the management of multi-cloud installations, putting customer-led pressure on vendors to create solutions that can play well with others, “says Pabitran.” In addition to reducing the burden on IT administrators, application integration offers many other benefits. Integrate integrations that update their infrastructure and enable agile business activities by integrating and streamlining data and workflows between individual software applications.

“New cybersecurity concepts like SASE have resulted in increasing integration between existing solutions.”

Hexnode’s boss also sees the new workplace as an intelligent workplace. “From medicine to automotive to cybersecurity and e-commerce, AI has strongly influenced almost every industry,” he said, predicting it will continue and accelerate.

Apple is growing in the enterprise

Pavithran definitely sees an increase in Apple and Mac market share. Windows 10 years ago was de facto enterprise OS. Today, Apple’s resurgence means millions of Macs, iPhones and iPads are being used across every industry. The response is that TCO reduces costs, increases productivity, and increases employee loyalty when such choices are offered.

“Apple has played a vital role in turning the MDM industry into what it is today,” said Pabitra “Apple’s device management APIs introduced with iOS 4 in 2010 introduced many new capabilities … for example, through Apple Device Manager or Apple School Manager, MDM can onboard any Apple device owned by any company in their fleet. Even new user enrollment capabilities were introduced so that MDMs could better manage devices in their arsenal.

“The capabilities that Apple has unveiled to support the functionality of device management have allowed vendors like us to securely manage personal and corporate-owned Apple devices. Apple has seen significant growth in the Hexnode Enterprise. “

[Also read: How Apple improved enterprise deployments at WWDC]

Digital transformation of the workplace

In addition to the steps taken to adopt different platforms and practices, the method of work is also changing.

Accelerated by the epidemic, this digital transformation means new challenges and opportunities for business leaders to stay awake at night.

“It is true that digitization of various processes, methods and work activities will result in significant benefits in terms of increasing productivity, faster resources, cost reduction, etc. Unfortunately, the emergence of new technologies and solutions requires a change in the traditional method of operation. Employees, IT administrators and managers need to re-learn new strategies to keep up with it. Fortunately, improvisation is one of the greatest blessings of our relatives, and with the advent of new challenges comes new solutions. “

These include Apple’s MDM APIs, which include endpoint management solutions such as Unified Endpoint Management (UEM) or Mobile Device Management (MDM) with its relatively recent user enrollment capabilities to protect user privacy by separating personal and corporate data.

“I don’t see the hybrid work coming to an end soon. However, successfully maintaining a remote environment creates many difficulties in both device handling and data protection, “he said.

This is why the MDM market is developing so fast.

“UEMs are even a part of the next generation of architecture like Zero Trust. One of the principles of Zero Trust is that you do not trust the user or the device. In short, people must verify what they claim and devices must verify what they claim. UEM is a class of solutions that provide administrators with extra visibility on their remote devices while providing extra security. “

How MDM works with Apple devices

Apple uses the managed Apple ID to verify user enrollment. Managed Apple IDs, managed and created by enterprise admins in Apple School Manager or Apple Business Manager, are different from regular Apple IDs. They can usually handle things like your email, data storage and app management and will probably feed into the endpoint security system. Now it is possible to host both a personal and a managed Apple ID on a device using containerization.

Containerization means keeping an individual’s personal data separate – even if you access your personal iCloud storage – balancing security and privacy for both the company and the employee.

UEM / MDM systems provide administrators with complex visibility and management of each device, but this can affect user privacy if containerization is not effective.

The difference between Apple user enrollment and Android

On the outside, both Apple’s user enlistment and Android’s work profile aim to protect employees’ privacy as well as protect corporate resources, Holy said.

“The implementation is the same, because both systems create separate virtual containers for work apps and data,” he explains.

However, in Android, the virtual container is visible in the user interface as part of a separate folder or app drawer, which means that different versions of the same application can be managed with different accounts.

“Unfortunately, since Android only sets a framework for this feature, the scope and capabilities of Android’s work profile vary according to the device manufacturer.”

It works a little differently on Apple, he said, describing it as a “stealthy” method.

Individual (enterprise) space exists in the backend and is not visible.

This means that instead of creating parallel applications for personal use and work, “the same application can create a personal profile with a regular Apple ID and a work profile with a managed Apple ID.”

Pavithran seems reasonably confident that Apple will expand the enterprise support built into its system. “As Apple makes its APIs more accessible to third-party vendors, the resulting integration will certainly help secure future enterprise operations,” he said.

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Copyright © 2022 IDG Communications, Inc.

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