Parallels Mac Management: Reconciling Two Schools of Thought

It was 11 years ago, in March 2008, that a ZDNet headline punctured Mac® aficionados’ enthusiasm about their favorite platform’s growing market share: “Forrester: Forget Macs. In business, it’s still all about Windows.”

The article revolved around a Forrester Research report that came to the conclusion that corporate IT departments should concentrate on nothing but Windows—Mac computers would simply cause too much trouble. However, a mere three years later, Forrester struck a different note. Word had gotten around that Mac users’ productivity is above average. Forrester uttered a stern warning: Whoever tried to obstruct Apple® users’ path would have to count on being run over.

Much has happened since those days. The Mac global market share climbed to an all-time high, around 10%. In the corporate sphere, iMac®, Mac mini®, and MacBook® have moved past being confined to the art department—and are even said to have been seen in accounting departments.

There are reasons for the rising popularity of Mac in business. Apple manufacturing quality, design, and touch and feel are among the best—and Apple usability continues to be proverbial. Moreover, the steady growth of cloud-based software solutions has eliminated a traditional weak point of Mac: the rather poor availability of software applications compared to Windows. And last but not least, the trend to bring your own device (BYOD) has kindled employees’ desire to use their MacBook not only privately but also for their jobs.

These developments were certainly a bitter pill to swallow for many veteran IT administrators who learned their trade before or shortly after the turn of the millennium. A deeply engrained mantra of standardization provoked an aversion to any additional management solution engineered to cater to Mac computers in the organization. The consequence was the attitude that if users absolutely had to work with Mac, then they themselves should take care of those boxes.

A younger admin generation, increasingly viewing decentralized infrastructures as a natural way to go, might take a somewhat less dogmatic approach. They may be more open-minded about solutions that enable efficient Mac administration.

An ideal solution would be one that not only satisfies the second admin category but also appeals to the old-school admin pros. Such a solution would certainly not be a second management platform specifically tailored to Mac, but rather integrate Mac management seamlessly into the existing Windows management platform. And this very solution exists: Parallels® Mac Management for Microsoft® SCCM.

This application is designed as a plug-in for the market-leading Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM). It enables admins to register Mac systems with ease using network scan, Active Directory system discovery, and Apple Device Enrollment Program (DEP). Using macOS® configuration profiles, FileVault hard disk encryption, shell scripts, and native SCCM reporting, Parallels Mac Management ensures that all compliance requirements are met. The solution also creates full transparency regarding currently used software and the potential need for additional licenses.

Working in harmony with Windows SCCM enables this solution to reconcile the paradigms of the old school (standardize!) and the new generation (be flexible!). And its success justifies this approach.

Learn more about how to manage Mac devices like PCs with Parallels Mac Management for Microsoft SCCM in our weekly Webinars. Register now for free!