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In the past, enterprises had a single on-premises IT infrastructure. The businesses were responsible for managing and maintaining their own networks including desktop PCs. These skill sets were often one together – managing a Microsoft computing environment. Today, organizations are tasked with managing SaaS apps, mobile devices, desktops/laptops, internal networks, and more. Many organizations cannot hire enough people to help them manage the onslaught of devices they have today, and that’s why they’re turning to Managed Mobility Service Providers to help them ensure security and productivity.

About Apple @ Work: Bradley Chambers managed an enterprise IT network from 2009 to 2021. Through his experience deploying and managing firewalls, switches, a mobile device management system, enterprise grade Wi-Fi, 100s of Macs, and 100s of iPads, Bradley will highlight ways in which Apple IT managers deploy Apple devices, build networks to support them, train users, stories from the trenches of IT management, and ways Apple could improve its products for IT departments.

As organizations offer device as a choice (Mac vs. PC, iPhone vs. Android, etc.) and the demand for Apple increases, there is an increased need for managed service providers that understand the Apple ecosystem. Most organizations do not have an Apple expert on staff and look to outsource that part of their business. This is driving the need for MSPs that are educated in Apple management and security. Those that are doing it well are seeing an increase in their business prospects and revenue generation from the management of those devices. This opens the door for MSPs to provide additional services to those organizations over time.

Carlos Blanco, Jamf VP of Channel and Alliances.

Hiring challenges

A few months ago, I spent a few hours chatting with the team from BFA Technologies about their client’s current challenges. The one thing that kept coming up was the struggle around staffing; hiring people is one problem, but then you must train them. For complex enterprise environments, it can be months before you can “turn someone loose.” So let’s say it takes 60-90 days of training, and the staff turnover is 24 months. Companies have a short window of productivity when it’s costly and time-consuming to train new IT staff. 

When a company partners with an MMSP, the hiring challenges become the problem of the MMSP. It’s up to them to hire people, train them, and keep up-to-date on all their certifications.

How Managed Mobility Service Providers create turn-key partners

There’s a growing trend of organizations either completely outsourcing the management of their endpoints to Managed Mobility Service Providers. Even organizations that don’t want to completely outsource, they may run with limited staff for oversight and outsource much of the day-to-day work to an MMSP. Their onsite staff works with the MMSP to make sure employees needs are taken care of, while the organization remains secure and on top of the latest software updates. The onsite IT staff doesn’t have to stay as deeply integrated into the nuts and bolts of the latest updates from Apple, Microsoft, Google, and MDM providers as they would otherwise. 

Is the MMSP-led model right for all organizations?

Every organization has different needs, goals, and challenges. If an organization is struggling to manage its endpoints in a remote work environment, using an MMSP to assist them is a smart idea. It’s challenging for an IT staff to be experts in Macs, PCs, network security, every SaaS app, etc. As organizations grow and their needs vary, I do believe it makes a lot of sense to leverage service providers that can provide guidance. 

Especially if an organization offers employees choice in the type of devices they use and maintains those devices, there is increased need for managed service providers that understand and can manage Apple products. Most organizations do not have staff members trained in Apple management and security, so they seek outside assistance. This has created a market for managed-services providers that possess the expertise needed to support an organization’s Apple infrastructure.

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About the Author

Bradley Chambers

Bradley lives in Chattanooga, TN.

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