Mobile device management (MDM) was the first element in what has become enterprise mobility management (EMM), an essential set of capabilities for successful mobile IT operations.
Today, there are dozens of MDM products and services available, but Apple-only organizations have an easy choice in Profile Manager, an OS X Server tool for iPhones, iPad devices and Macintosh computers that lets IT professionals define a wide range of configuration options for individual devices and users. These configuration profiles can be used to enforce local security policies and measures, feature-usage policies (for the device camera, iCloud and AirDrop) and remote lock or wipe. A user self-service portal even helps minimize the load on operations staff.
While Profile Manager isn’t a full EMM suite, it can provide all the MDM capabilities Apple IT shops need — as long as they follow a few simple rules.
Some features of Profile Manager aren’t supported on earlier revisions of iOS or Mac OS X. Installing updates as soon as they become available helps eliminate inconsistencies in operations.
Purchasing apps through the VPP can provide significant administrative savings, and because Profile Manager supports managed distribution to either users or devices, IT professionals don’t have to manually assign, revoke or reassign software and content licenses.
Beyond conducting a detailed review of Profile Manager’s security capabilities, IT professionals should start with a limited trial deployment to ensure operations are as intended and security remains in concert with organizational objectives.