Top 5 Apple mobile device management platforms for 2020 | Cult of Mac

Top 5 Apple mobile device management platforms for 2020

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Hexnode top 5 Apple MDMs: Mobile device management is a crucial element of IT security.
Mobile device management is a crucial element of IT security.
Image: Hexnode

This top 5 Apple MDM platforms post is presented by Hexnode.

With the surge in recent years of employees working via smartphones, tablets and laptops from all over the place, it’s no surprise mobile device management, aka MDM, has become a crucial tool for organizations large and small. Then add in the near-ubiquity of cloud computing and software-as-a-service (SaaS) apps, plus companies letting employees use their own devices (BYOD). It all equals MDM becoming an unavoidable part of IT security. Ignore it at your own risk.

But how do companies choose which solution to use? We’ve compiled a top 5 Apple MDM platforms list that will help lay out the advantages — and the occasional disadvantages — of the some of the best products out there. They are Hexnode, Jamf, VMWare Workspace One, MobileIron and IBM MaaS360. All offer various monthly, tiered subscription plans with pricing per device managed.

Top 5 Apple MDM platforms for 2020

Hexnode MDM is comprehensive yet easy to manage
Hexnode MDM is comprehensive yet easy to manage.
Image: Hexnode

Hexnode

Named a Gartner Peer Insights Customers’ Choice for unified endpoint management (UEM) tools twice in 2019, Hexnode is a comprehensive MDM platform. It’s scalable for enterprises of all sizes in any industry. It’s built to safeguard corporate data and devices with location tracking, device restrictions, blocking of malicious content and websites, and more. The product’s compliance-management capabilities enable device monitoring, status checking and automatic updates. That may sound complicated, yet Hexnode features a gentle learning curve and requires minimal training for your IT staff.

Via its central management console, Hexnode works across platforms: iOS, iPadOS, macOS, tvOS, Android, Windows PCs and Amazon Fire OS. It supports Apple Business Manager (ABM) and Apple Configurator seamlessly for hands-free enrollment and efficient device management. Its iOS-supervised features allow for advanced device management. App management enables silent install and bulk install of both generally available and custom-made enterprise apps.

Hexnode supports BYOD management, so your employees can use their personal devices for work. All devices will have “zero-day” support for all major OS releases and updates. Free customer support is available 24 hours a day, five days a week. Pricing is competitive and includes five tiers of service, all with a 30-day free trial option.

VMware Workspace One

VMWare Airwatch recently rebranded as VMWare Workspace One. As the oldest product represented here, it’s scalable and boasts a broad range of features acquired, in part, through integrations with other market players. It offers secure lifetime management of apps, data, desktops, network access, telecommunications and personal and corporate devices (including peripherals and wearables). It features a virtual application delivery platform called Horizon.

As an intelligent and secure endpoint- and app-management solution with on-premises and cloud versions, Workspace One manages virtually any device and any app. It supports iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, along with Mac and Apple TV. It also integrates with Apple for an out-of-the-box device enrollment experience.

Workspace One may lose a few points for lacking fast, chat-based customer service and for having a relatively high price tag across a range of options. It is free to try, however.

Comprehensive Apple MDM involves many moving parts, making a complete solution essential
Comprehensive Apple MDM involves many moving parts, making a complete solution essential.
Image: Hexnode

Jamf

Jamf offers a set of Apple-only device management and security solutions. Some are particularly well-suited to schools; others are best for businesses of various sizes. Its endpoint management suite enables MDM, identity access management (IAM), mobile content management (MCM) and mobile application management (MAM).

Jamf supports iOS, iPadOS, macOS and tvOS. It provides day-zero support for all major Apple OS upgrades, helping to ensure that your users and their devices stay up to date and secure.

It takes just a small staff to handle Jamf’s management of any number of devices. However, that staff can’t get started without training from Jamf. An additional minor drawback of Jamf is that pricing is moderate to high. On the flip side, its customer support is solid overall. Its large “Jamf Nation” community can be quite helpful with answering questions, too.

Why is MDM essential: Properly managing employees’ Apple devices means better IT security
Properly managing employees’ Apple devices means better IT security.
Image: Hexnode

MobileIron

MobileIron is a highly scalable solution to secure mobile apps and data with a strong security suite that supports all major OS platforms, including iOS and macOS. It supports the entire macOS lifecycle, from provision through configuration and management.

Thanks to ABM integration, Apple users get an out-of-box experience with MobileIron. Your network also will enjoy lots of features, including efficient email management, solid IAM, a BYOD option and a robust threat-defense system.

Device enrollment through ABM is integrated with Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML), enabling single sign-on (SSO) or zero sign-on (no password) capabilities for users. App management is efficient, with the ability to push both App Store and in-house products. Frequent product updates bring new fixes and features. However, pricing is on the high end.

IBM MaaS360

As a complete, feature-rich, cloud-based endpoint management solution, IBM MaaS360 supports all major OS platforms. It incorporates IBM’s intuitive artificial intelligence, known as Watson, which enables risk visualization. MaaS360 also features a strong app-management suite, with enterprise-level integrations for smooth device management.

MaaS360 works with ABM for hands-free enrollment of Apple devices. Device and network security is strengthened through containerization, gateways and a series of endpoint integrations. The product integrates with Wandera and its Mobile Threat Defense (MTD) technology for threat detection and management.

Getting AI and a full range of features with your MDM means a high price tag, but IBM offers a range of pricing options.

Conclusion

Comprehensive MDM has become a critical factor in effective IT security, thanks to a vast increase in cloud computing and the number of mobile devices in the workforce. Fortunately, your organization’s IT department has solid product choices to address MDM that can be scaled to virtually any number of devices. With all of the products described above, seamless integration with Apple ABM ensures easy device enrollment and rapid deployment of OS updates. Each of the products has tiered pricing plans that help tailor services to your scale and needs. For the money, you can’t go wrong with any of them, but for its affordability, range of features and stellar customer service, Hexnode appears to have the edge.