What is automated device lifecycle and how to implement it?

In today’s ever-evolving digital landscape, IT admins must keep up with the latest technologies and ensure devices are always secure and up to date. Remote work has only accelerated the challenges of a rapidly increasing digital transformation. The number of work devices in organizations continues to grow as well. 

Apple has been the preferred mobile device choice of end-users for many years. And thanks to an impressive evolution of Apple-specific IT solutions, Apple devices are quickly becoming the most popular and preferred choice for IT administrators.

Why is it happening? There are many reasons behind the explosive Apple adoption among businesses. One of them is the fully automated device life cycle capabilities made possible by Apple solutions designed for companies and the amazing implementation and augmentation by modern Apple Unified Platform providers.

We’ll explain what a fully automated device lifecycle is and how any business can implement it below. For now, though, we can say that with this solution, organizations can automate every single task from the first time an Apple device is turned on to the moment it’s retired years later without IT ever having to physically touch the device.

It all starts with Zero-Touch deployment

Zero-touch deployment for Apple devices allows administrators to set up and configure new devices without having to physically access them. A company can achieve this task by using a modern Apple-specific MDM solution to push the devices required settings and configuration profiles over the air. 

With a zero-touch deployment, IT administrators can quickly and easily create universal or group-specific configuration profiles, save them, set them and forget them. When turned on for the first time (and always after a device wipe), all new corporate devices will be automatically enrolled on the MDM solution and automatically configured over the air without IT admins having to perform any action. Think about it as an autopilot but for deploying new work devices.

Zero-touch deployments are even more critical for IT administrators supporting remote employees. 

For example, a new (or previously used and wiped device) can be simply shipped to the employees’ home with a single instruction: open it and connect it to your Wi-Fi. 

Once the device is connected, everything else will happen automatically with zero need for any action from the IT admin or the employee. The device is ready to go in a few minutes, all work apps are installed, security configurations are enforced, and even nice touches like a welcome wallpaper are applied.​

To make automation easier, the best Apple Unified Platform solutions go above and beyond, offering beautiful and elegant tools like Mosyle Embark that deliver essential information and guide the employee during setup. Mosyle Embark lets them know which tasks are being performed, which apps are installed and how long it will take for all the functions to the completed. It’s a compelling WOW-factor for any first day of work!

Ongoing management comes next

Once a device is deployed, the goal changes from installing apps and enforcing configurations to keeping the operating system and apps up to date. IT admins also need to establish new applications and solutions the company will adopt and ensure the entire fleet of devices is secure. 

Once again, with the support of a leading Apple Unified Platform, all of those tasks can be put on autopilot.

Powerful patch management tools and workflows will ensure all corporate apps on all work devices are always running the last version without impacting employees with manual flows or forced updates during the wrong times, such as when the updated app is in use.

Apple Unified Platforms will also constantly monitor devices for security configurations and detect threats, fixing configurations and neutralizing malware without any manual action required. 

And the best part is that ongoing management, if provided by a leading provider, will scale indefinitely without adding any extra work or complexity to the existing IT team. 

And the cycle ends with decommissioning

Securely wiping corporate devices when replacing them is vital to ensure the security and privacy of the company’s data. Without wiping, confidential information such as company passwords, customer data, financial information, and other sensitive data may be left on the hard drive and could be accessed by unauthorized individuals. 

Additionally, securely wiping corporate devices helps prevent data breaches and other security issues, and ensures legal compliance with data privacy regulations such as GDPR. 

Decommissioning is also very important when an employee is terminated. Companies can fully automate a proper device wipe based on integrations with the centralized user directory or human resources solutions.

Let’s say a company uses Google Workspace for email and productivity. An Apple Unified Platform solution, such as Mosyle, can be fully integrated with Google Workspace. Automated workflows can be created based on whether employees exist or if they’re part of a specific Google group. 

This would allow an IT administrator to set a simple policy that would automatically and securely wipe a Mac if the user assigned to that device was deleted from Google Workspace. Once this policy is created, it becomes a fully automated workflow, ensuring a perfect device decommissioning every time without any manual work.  

The benefits of fully automated device lifecycle

There are several benefits for companies fully automating the devices’ lifecycle.

First, automating tasks and workflows and not relying on human actions will materially increase consistency and ensure that the correct actions are implemented every time. In some moments, all it takes is one mistake, such as forgetting to properly decommission a device before returning it at the end of the leasing, to create horrible consequences, such as a data breach. 

Second, companies can generate relevant savings in labor by automating the deployment, ongoing management and decommissioning of work devices. A single IT administrator can comfortably manage hundreds (if not thousands) of Apple devices by implementing a fully automated device lifecycle strategy with a leading Apple Unified Platform solution.

Third, employees will have a much better experience with their work devices. Most of the maintenance tasks they would be expected to perform will happen automatically and silently, letting them work only on productive tasks. Also, an automated device lifecycle strategy will materially reduce the need for IT support by employees, saving employees time and eliminating frustration while also optimizing the work of the helpdesk team.

And how do you implement this strategy?

Any company leveraging Apple devices can seamlessly implement a fully automated device lifecycle strategy, and you will be surprised by how little it can cost.

The best way to start is by selecting a great Apple Unified Platform solution. Mosyle, a leader in this space, provides customers with all the technical tools needed for a fully automated device lifecycle strategy for Apple devices and delivers the necessary help and support to implement it without any extra cost.

Mosyle is also an excellent example of how inexpensive it can be to implement a fully automated device lifecycle strategy. Companies with less than 30 devices can do it for FREE, and for larger fleets, it can cost as little as $1 per device per month.

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Author: Subham

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