The move to remote work represents further digitization of the workplace, and Apple seems increasingly likely to play a bigger part in this paradigm shift. I spoke with Alcyr Araujo, the CEO of Apple MDM solutions provider Mosyle, to get some sense of the changes coming to workplace culture.
Apple and the future workplace
Araujo certainly sees Apple taking a greater slice of the enterprise space and believes the company is in position to grow more in future. He’s staked his company on it.
The biggest transformation in enterprise culture over the last year has been the pivot to working from home. While some employers seemingly insist on forcing people back to the office, that phase is likely to pass – if only because workers will begin voting with their feet.
“The hardest point of change will come from a cultural shift in how, and where, we work,” said Araujo. “As more companies, like Spotify and Salesforce commit to Work From Anywhere (WFA) strategies over the next year, IT teams will need to adapt to provide the necessary access, security and connectivity to remote employees.”
The advantage for him and others in the space is that as Apple’s presence grows, “IT teams [will need] to adopt new Apple-specific enterprise solutions to remotely deploy, manage, and protect devices at scale.”
We know that employee-choice schemes make sense in multiple ways. In 2019, IBM CIO Fletcher Previn pointed to benefits in employee productivity and retention, and once again reiterated that the TCO of Apple’s platforms is lower (and tech support burdens smaller) in comparison to others.
We also know — as the BYOD trend showed — that workers like the autonomy of being able to choose the tools they use. Apple’s ease of use, inherent security, and familiarity are driving growth in the sector. Some argue that choice in IT is becoming an HR factor.
To support remote working, Apple-focused MDM and endpoint security solutions are becoming mandatory, enabling the new era of remote tech support. Founded in 2012, Mosyle began in the education market and later pivoted toward the enterprise. It takes a cloud-based approach to Apple MDM.
As the workplace becomes increasingly digital, what we do at work is also becoming data centric. That data means automation and artificial intelligence are playing a growing part in the workplace, from Industry 4.0 deployments to use of digital twins and RPA.
There’s a huge amount of innovation going on that tech evangelists like Araujo feel will provide employees with more flexibility and improve their lives.
“RPA helps streamline boring repetitive tasks, so employees don’t have to perform them,” he said. “Digital twin technology can help capture real-time data, create digital representations of products in the field and analyze how changes could make the product better. And AI has the potential to uncover insights and help predict answers so humans can work faster and smarter.
“I think it comes back to using technology to improve the lives of people. That’s why our solutions are built with automation in mind. By batching and automating tasks, we’re able to reduce the amount of time and complexity IT professionals experience managing fleets of Apple devices.”
Many remain reluctant to embrace increased automation within data centric enterprises, and those new workspaces that do should still focus around people.
Technology has its place, but human “soft skills,” such as for critical thinking, problem solving, and communication will remain necessary. “We might need to adapt how we did these things when we were all in offices, but they will still be important in a remote world,” he said.