In the past couple of years, we have seen unprecedented times prompt an across-the-board change to our ways of working, now gearing them towards remote and hybrid workplaces and learning spaces. With this, companies and teaching institutions have had to adapt at a rapid pace to keep up with the increasing demand for flexibility and agility. Jamf, as the standard in Apple Enterprise Management, is well prepared to assist with this. They have recently surpassed 60,000 active customers operating on 26.5 million devices worldwide, helping organisations to connect, manage and secure their Apple devices remotely. There are, however, challenges that come with remote access and use of technology, which Jamf addresses across various platforms, such as security and privacy issues.
In this interview with TechBullion, CEO of Jamf, Dean Hager, will discuss some of these and the ways that Jamf overcomes them, alongside discussion of the company’s place within the industry and the community they have built across the world.
Could you please tell us a little more about yourself?
I’m Dean Hager and I am the CEO of Jamf, a software company that helps organisations succeed with Apple.
I’ve spent the past 30 years in the software industry. At these companies I’ve help lead data recovery efforts and e-discovery solutions and brought new technology ideas to life with four U.S. patents. Prior to any of my software experience, I grew up in a small 150-person rural Minnesota and worked on my family’s farm. In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with my three daughters, my wife and biking.
What is Jamf, what specific products and services do you provide?
Jamf is the standard in Apple Enterprise Management, which means we are the only Apple Enterprise Management solution of scale that automates device deployment, management and security without impacting the end-user experience or requiring IT to touch the device.
Jamf preserves the native and consistent Apple experience that people expect at work, while fulfilling the security and compliance requirements of businesses. We have a specific vision for the enterprise – a vision to empower individuals with technology that is enterprise-secure and consumer-simple, while protecting personal privacy.
Our solution has never been more needed. Today, most organisations are figuring out how to best empower AND secure their workforce as they increasingly access company resources from outside the four walls of the office.
Digital transformations have helped to increase the customer pipeline through new online services, what are the major security issues we are facing during this data boom?
As mentioned above, the past year and a half has forced organisations to embrace the hybrid work model. A workforce where employees can work from anywhere now requires an environment where the technology and the employee experience are the same. With the flexibility of working from anywhere for employees, whether it be public places like coffee shops or in the lobby of a hotel, there poses different security risks. Employees accessing company data and resources could be vulnerable when they sign onto an unsecured Wifi Network or clicking send on an email before fully connecting to a company’s server. This can enable attackers to deploy phishing and man-in-the-middle attacks and put companies and their customers in compromising positions. Therefore, organisations need enterprise-grade endpoint security and specific device management as additional layers of security.
How can organisations tackle today’s workforce demands and create a secure enterprise that protects personal privacy?
When employees aren’t just accessing resources from inside the four walls of the office, they need secure but seamless access to company data and apps from wherever they decide to work from. Start by finding technology partners that promote Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA). ZTNA solutions keep data and devices safe by using a “need to know” access philosophy. This is done by determining if a user or device is suspicious by looking at several factors, including the user, device, network and access request at a particular moment in time. ZTNA allows companies to provide this protection without hindering the intended end user experience or slowing them down. With private access directly integrated with cloud identity providers, organisations can enable employees to securely access all resources. Once a user has authenticated to their device, secure business connections are made while the non-business applicates are routed directly to the internet, preserving the end-user privacy. Coupling such solutions that know the technology ecosystem employees are working on best, you can be sure devices are secure but still powerful.
What role is Jamf playing to enable a safer digital transformation for organisations?
As organisations evolve their service offerings for the hybrid world, they will need modern, user-friendly technology that will empower employees rather than hinder them. Jamf provides a holistic view of the organisation’s device fleet to help them better secure and manage their technology and data while they scale and grow. Specifically, Jamf provides organisations with an easy way to manage Apple devices with expert, specialised knowledge. We can automate the entire lifecycle of Apple management, personalise Apple devices to fit specific users’ needs, preserve the Apple device experience that users want, all while ensuring that an organisation’s security and compliance requirements are met.
Tell us more about Apple’s momentum in the enterprise, and what is powering this momentum, (Jamf)/Employee choice survey findings?
Apple products are well known not only for their sleek design and user friendliness, but also for their state-of-the-art tools which enhance productivity, creativity and more. The study we conducted with Vanson Bourne found that when comparing Apple users’ experiences when working on their Apple device against their experience on non-Apple devices, they reported several positive benefits. For example, 87% of respondents reported productivity improvements, self-sufficiency (87%) and creativity (86%) when using Apple devices.
With such great benefits and so many individuals already using and loving their Apple devices at home, Apple’s popularity in the enterprise continues to grow. With more and more organisations setting up employee choice programme, this trend will be on the rise.
Jamf is the only Apple Enterprise Management solution, what inspired the decision to partner with Apple?
The idea for Jamf was born out of necessity. One of our co-founders, Zach Halmstad, worked full-time in the IT department at a university, deploying, updating, and tracking over 400 student and faculty Macs. He spent much of his time there wishing there was a smarter, more efficient way to do his job, so he decided to create one himself. Soon after, Zach met Chip Pearson, a Minneapolis IT consultancy leader. At the time they met, Apple was leading an industry transformation and creating devices and a user experience that is unlike any other in the market. The two worked together to create a simple way for organisations to succeed with Apple, bridging the gap between what Apple offers and what organisations need.
We believe that Apple creates the best technology that puts humans first, and our mission is to help organisations bring that intended, top-notch experience to their end users, while providing enterprise-grade security and powerful device management.
Which industries need enterprise security management the most now? And what types of organisations are your clients?
Jamf now serves more than 60,000 customers and runs on approximately 26.5 million devices worldwide. We help organisations in a wide range of industries such as enterprise, small business, education, healthcare, retail, hospitality and field services. Over the last year, we have done some great work with healthcare and educational institutions to provide them with Apple Enterprise Management solutions that met their needs. With the shift to telehealth and hybrid learning, it is more important than ever to protect patient information and children’s safety.
What is the Jamf Nation User Community all about and what are the benefits? Any opportunities for investors and partners at Jamf?
Now in its twelfth year, The Jamf Nation User Conference (JNUC) is the largest Apple enthusiast forum in the world with over 11,000 registered attendees. JNUC is where all the leading Jamf IT and security subject matter experts, industry leaders, customers and partner share new and exciting information about Jamf, Apple, security, IT, tools and trends. This three-day event is centred around engagement amongst the admin community, gaining insights, sharing knowledge and creating an open environment that drives innovation. In its second year of being virtual and free, attendees can learn from leaders in technology and take-back key insights for their organisations, customers, and employees.