I spoke with Jamf CIO Linh Lam during a recent visit to the UK to mark the company's 20th anniversary. The 2020 Bay Area CIO of the Year finalist joined Jamf in 2021 and believes Apple will be the company's best endpoint by 2030 as its current momentum builds.
The Changing Landscape of Enterprise Computing
"The way demand and expectations grow from younger generations joining the workforce, Apple devices will be the number one endpoint by 2030," he told me.
This is not an aberrant analysis. Spurred by Apple's decision to adopt its own rapidly improving silicon, Gartner analyst Mikako Kitagawa recently predicted that Apple will capture 10,7% of the PC market by 2026 as Windows' share declines. In the enterprise, where Apple's adoption has been particularly rapid, BYOD, the impact of mobility, and the renaissance of flexible and hybrid working are accelerating the trend.
Managing this rapidly changing technological and cultural landscape has forced CIOs to focus on new challenges. For example, when employees brought work home during the pandemic, they also brought their technology home.
“It blended in with the technology at home,” Lam said. But it wasn't just the technology of the worker or the technology of his home. “I have two sons at home who are in third and first grade for almost two years together and they also bought their own tech house,” Lam said.
While delivering the technology was the first challenge, CIOs were quick to see the security threat of distributed endpoints outside of traditional permissions controls. "So as all these devices get connected to our network, how do we make sure they don't pose more risks?" Lim said.
Security: balance between protection and productivity
CIOs need to strike a good balance between elegant user experiences and security, but in doing so, they also need to understand that: "If employees feel like it's too cumbersome or they get stuck or worse, if they start thinking, 'Wow. , this sounds a bit like Big Brother, are you accessing my personal data on my device?' What happens then is that employees stop using your solution, you lose productivity and security.
It also ends up with workers using unauthorized solutions to get things done.
There are many security tools, different tools that do different things. The challenge comes when you try to put them together.
"Some of them have different levels of support for different operating systems, so in order to extend the policies, you have to extend them to different tools for the end-user experience to work, and that can be very inconsistent."
Lim argues that creating seamless experiences is key to empowering employees without impacting user experience or device performance. "That's where you're going to be successful in this place of employee experience," she said.
“Technology should allow them to do their job, not make it difficult for them,” he said.
Eric von Hippel, a professor at MIT's Sloan School of Management, calls it "user innovation" and believes great value can be unlocked when companies work with employees to identify and solve worker challenges, rather than impose solutions they don't need. in them.
“We are all engineers after all in the computer field. We build things,” says Lim. “That's what excites us. But it's even more exciting to see it used. So if you implement solutions or install security tools on devices that make it difficult to use them or make life difficult for your employees or students, they won't use them or find a way around them. That would be the worst case scenario, because if they start doing that, you lose visibility, control, and security around those connections.
Remote work is a great opportunity
Ultimately, employee experiences matter.
Lam is based in California and notes that one of the positive results of the pandemic has been the push to embrace remote work. Otherwise, she may never have been hired at Jamf, for example.
“Our employees can work from anywhere. employees have options now, right? So if you make things so difficult for them, when you're known as the company that, "Oh man, all of their devices are locked down, you can barely do your work, you know, on the devices." People have a choice and can look elsewhere.
"I think, you know, it's just that muscle of remembering, that experience has to be there as well because, well, look what happens, the Great Resignation, for example."
The possibility of working remotely makes it possible to form teams of diverse origins. Employee diversity is another key principle that is being rapidly adopted across companies, not only in line with corporate social responsibility, but also because diversity brings additional perspectives and insights to teams that can help companies succeed. success, even during a recession. McKinsey says there is a relationship between diversity and business success, as more diverse teams are more likely to experience superior financial performance.
Complexity will be streamlined
“I come from a world where you had to support Windows and Mac devices,” Lam said. “My split was about 40% for Mac and the rest for Windows. I was doing a zero touch deployment with Autopilot and Intune for Windows devices. There was no way I was going to achieve that for Mac, and we used Jamf for this. And I'll tell you, the experience of doing this for Mac devices in Jamf was almost seamless from inception to deployment to launch.
“As soon as a new OS was shipped everything would stop because users would update and then call my help desk because apps stopped working and this happened every time an update was shipped. But telling people not to update the software when the software ships is a terrible experience."
Jamf, of course, provides same-day support for Apple software updates, and Lam and his team use the same technology to service their devices. "I know that all of our devices and their apps will continue to work seamlessly as updates become available."
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