What leading Apple-in-the-enterprise execs expect in ’24

Apple’s surging status in the enterprise suggests it will grab a big slice of recovering hardware budgets across the next 12 months. To find out why, I talked to leaders from across the fast growing Apple device management industry to learn what they see and where Apple in the enterprise will go in 2024.

Specifically, I spoke with leaders from Jamf, Mosyle, Hexnode, JumpCloud, and Kandji. Together, their insights deliver a broad picture of how things look across the industry. I’ve assembled the answers in this Q&A.

Selected highlights include:

  • Apple devices are being used across a broader set of business roles.
  • Very large industrial and traditional service enterprises are choosing Apple.
  • Apple is actively working to win over Windows admins.
  • Many enterprises are preparing to embrace Apple’s Vision Pro.
  • Business will find Vision Pro use cases no one has dreamed of yet.
  • Apple’s focus on sustainability is good for business as enterprise customers focus on both cost and sustainability.

Looking back over 2023, what do you see as the big trends for Apple in the enterprise?

Michael Covington, vice president for portfolio strategy at JAMF

“In 2023, we saw more and more business applications being run by Jamf customers on Apple devices. This is an important trend, because it reflects a broader set of roles within organizations that are choosing and using Apple devices for work.

“We first noticed the trend with mobile devices as frontline workers in industries like healthcare, aviation, and retail transitioned to iPhones and iPads as the primary computing device for some customer-facing roles. And on the Mac, we saw tremendous growth in the use of cloud identity services, indicating that the Mac is increasingly being used to access critical online services and data.

“With Apple devices now in the critical path for many individuals and departments across the enterprise, we have seen an increased interest in securing the Apple platform and aligning to both organizational and regulatory standards. As the threat landscape continues to evolve and target more Apple users, it’s great to see a growing awareness of Mac compliance tools, as well as an indication that more security teams are adding Apple telemetry into their operational playbooks.”

Alcyr Araujo, Mosyle CEO

“The biggest trend for 2023 was the continuation of a direction we’ve seen for several years: a shift from Windows to Apple. Organizations that have traditionally used Windows devices are continuing to expand their employee-device-of-choice programs to include Apple devices. Some are even making more aggressive shifts to exclusively use Apple devices.  

“While Apple devices have always been the device of choice for modern companies, very large industrial and traditional service companies are now embracing the technology. This should continue for the coming years, and Macs will ultimately become the leader in the enterprise for all businesses.” 

Apu Pavithran, CEO and founder of Hexnode

“This year marks another step towards Apple’s dominance in the enterprise. In what’s becoming a recurring post-pandemic narrative, IT admins are more regularly turning to Apple endpoints for productivity improvements, identity management, and security. As you reported, three-quarters of businesses now use more Apple endpoints than last year. I believe this is because Apple is increasingly viewed as a business investment rather than an expense.

“Apple recognizes the overall satisfaction of enterprise admins and users with their current offering, and in the pursuit of enhancing user experience, the technical trends of note in 2023 centered on improving two of the company’s strongest capabilities:

  • From Managed Apple ID updates to the introduction of account-driven device enrollment, Apple wants to further standardize identity across the enterprise.
  • Password management changes, enhanced backup configurations, and ‘return to service’ functionality are game changers for admins to stay secure.

“Both of these changes speak to another major trend: Apple is actively working to win over remaining admins from Windows. The enhancements and simplifications they’re making not only improve device management but also motivate admins to choose Apple now and in the future.”

Weldon Dodd, senior vice president of community at Kandji

“As expected, Apple released new hardware across Mac, iPhone, and iPad. This powerful hardware continues to enable the business in new ways, but the big headline is Apple continuing to enhance how devices are managed. There are quite a few examples: The ability to manage operating system (OS) updates using Declarative Device Management (DDM); improvements to Managed Apple IDs and Platform Single Sign-On, and the ability to manage Apple Watch.

“Many of the management capabilities Apple added this year are what enterprise customers have been waiting for.”

Tom Bridge, director of product management, devices at JumpCloud

“Apple continues to make in-roads into the enterprise by emphasizing configurability, security, and stability. Apple makes hardware that is incredibly powerful and reliable, but best of all, sips battery, and has long lifespans for organizations. The 2020 MacBook Air M1 device is still a viable and powerful work machine after three full years of ownership.”

What was Apple’s most important announcements for this sector?

Michael Covington, vice president for portfolio strategy at JAMF

“Apple made some pretty big announcements for enterprise this past year and we’re really excited to see their continued investment in this area. At the top of my list are advancements with Managed Apple IDs that have practically made this critical feature one that organizations can no longer refuse. Enhanced federation options have made Managed Apple IDs now easier to adopt, and access management features were opened up so admins could lock down their use.

“Following their work with identity services, Apple’s enhancements to how macOS devices enroll into management have made it easier for Macs to be adopted in the enterprise, adding controls to force FileVault at the Setup Assistant, to configure a minimum OS setting, and to ensure that enrollment cannot be bypassed in critical onboarding processes.

“Of course, the big announcement for those IT professionals responsible for managing devices is Apple’s improvements to Declarative Device Management. The new Software Update workflows demonstrate Apple’s commitment to iterating on the enhanced protocol, now with a means of interacting with the end users of managed devices in a way that doesn’t require any fancy scripting or installing an extra agent.

“Of course, we would be remiss to not acknowledge Apple’s biggest announcement of the year for non-traditional devices. No, I’m not talking about the Vision Pro, exciting as it may be. The big news for teams that are looking to innovate with wearables and “embedded” devices is that Apple has opened up device management and secure remote access frameworks on both the Apple Watch and Apple TV. With this in place, we are expecting to see a lot of innovation on these non-traditional platforms as they are incorporated into the workplace.”

Alcyr Araujo, Mosyle CEO

“From the unveiling of Apple Vision Pro to the introduction of remote management for Apple Watch (currently only supported by Mosyle) and advancements to declarative device management in managing software updates, 2023 was a big year for Apple in the enterprise. Apple’s continued innovation is creating the need for a new breed of Apple enterprise device management solutions, so 2023 was a very busy year for Apple enterprise software providers like Mosyle. 

“Apple Vision Pro, in particular, sparked a lot of questions from our enterprise customers around not only the new benefits and capabilities it will bring to their core businesses, but also what level of remote deployment and management will be offered for those devices. This leads us to believe several of our enterprise customers are already preparing to embrace Apple Vision Pro.”  

Apu Pavithran, CEO and founder of Hexnode

“Those related to identity and security. This was evident at WWDC23 with the biggest updates reserved for admins to more easily federate identity, enforce security configurations, and help recreate the personalized user experience of iOS/macOS for managed devices.

“Regarding identity, Apple’s move to account-driven device enrollment is exciting. Building upon account-driven user enrollment, this enhancement ensures seamless automatic enrollment when users sign in with their work or school account. The elimination of manual profile installations significantly streamlines the device onboarding process, showcasing Apple’s commitment to efficient and authoritative enterprise solutions. It’s a strategic upgrade that sets a new standard for user-centric device management.

“As noted, Apple’s goal of aligning the user experience across devices continued at pace this year. Other updates in this direction include advanced federated authentication and expanded support and access controls for Managed Apple IDs.

“Regarding security, admins also received several new system tweaks to ward off bad actors:

  • Setup Assistant allows for the immediate configuration of FileVault.
  • “Return to service’ automates the erasure and re-enrollment of devices.
  • Password policy support using regular expressions.

“In an evolving landscape where one-quarter of employees work hybrid or fully remote, Apple’s focus on identity and security in the enterprise is about leading tomorrow. Securely bridging the gap between BYOD environments and enterprise-owned endpoints is paramount for sustaining momentum and ensuring a future-ready Apple ecosystem. The company took multiple steps toward achieving this in 2023.”

Weldon Dodd, senior vice president of community at Kandji

“For enterprises, it comes down to device management. A long-awaited request of Apple is the ability to better manage operating system (OS) updates on Apple devices. This year, Apple announced practitioners would be able to manage OS updates using Declarative Device Management (DDM). This is truly a game changer making the update process much more efficient and controllable.” 

Tom Bridge, director of product management, devices at JumpCloud

“Apple’s most important announcement of 2023 was the M3 processor family. Apple’s second most important announcement was their progress toward carbon neutrality for their entire product line. Organizations are making choices where they buy based not just on cost but on sustainability.”

What about the momentum behind Apple Silicon. Where does this place Apple in the enterprise? Are you seeing accelerating Mac adoption across your customers?

Michael Covington, vice president for portfolio strategy at JAMF

“The momentum behind Apple’s processors is incredible. 2023 marked the end of Apple’s transition to exclusively using their own silicon with the launch of the Mac Pro based on the M2 Ultra chip. The fact that Apple has continued to deliver such incredible performance across their entire hardware lineup means that businesses have options, from the MacBook Air to the Mac Pro, that are all incredibly performant and competitive in their respective segments.”

Alcyr Araujo, Mosyle CEO

“When the M1 chip was introduced, we saw a massive Mac refresh cycle and expansion of Macs among Mosyle’s enterprise customers. Today, nearly all Mosyle customers managing Mac devices have Macs with Apple Silicon on their fleets. For most of our customers, devices with Apple Silicon represent the majority of their devices.”

Apu Pavithran, CEO and founder of Hexnode

“Yes, our experience mirrors your reporting — Mac adoption is accelerating across our customers. Apple Silicon is a major value-add in that it delivers much faster and more efficient performance than Intel chips. The superior hardware coupled with an ultra-portable form factor makes a compelling case. However, it’s not the sole driver behind the enterprise’s gravitation towards Apple.

“Apart from the noteworthy hardware enhancements, macOS Sonoma introduces a diverse array of enterprise features. Whether it be implementing phishing-resistant Passkeys or introducing Managed Device Attestation, Apple has taken strides in fortifying its identity and security features.

“But the greatest factor contributing to Apple’s growth is, of course, its ecosystem. The seamless integration and synergy among Apple products create a cohesive environment that enables companies to operate at peak efficiency regardless of their employees’ locations. This is what enterprises expect in the remote age.”

Weldon Dodd, senior vice president of community at Kandji

“This marks the year Apple finished the transition to Apple Silicon, finishing with the Mac Pro and Mac Studio mid-year. Apple Silicon is here to stay, and it’s impressive. If you are still trying to find Intel-based Mac systems, I encourage you to make the jump. Apple’s management tools fully support Apple silicon and, in many ways, surpass Intel-based Mac systems’ management capabilities.”

Tom Bridge, director of product management, devices at JumpCloud

“JumpCloud continues to see growth of Apple within our customer base, and it’s a key segment of our device management efforts. More organizations are paying heed to Employee Choice programs, which place the employee at the center of workplace experience. Fletcher Previn’s talk at JNUC 2023 clearly underscores this. 


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