Many businesses are using Mac-centric systems and they need to get prepared for the next generation of macOS, the Big Sur. Apple will officially unveil the new macOS version in a special event next week.
Evaluate Existing Systems
For companies with intensive Mac deployments, the inevitable integration of the Big Sur to their system can be a challenge. Because many employees are still working for home, upgrades of company-issued MacBooks will be slower. Employees need a proper guidance about the upgrade procedure. Modern businesses rely on data to maintain daily operations and data loss could be paralyzing. Before upgrading from High Sierra, Mojave or Catalina, IT staff must back up critical data securely. Although the risk of data loss can be minimal, the possibility of data theft remains high during a migration. Businesses should comply to prevailing regulatory and security compliance. Staff needs to make sure that all devices and systems support the new OS. Businesses are in a more delicate situation during this pandemic and it’s essential to maintain operational continuity. Compatible devices for the upcoming Big Sur upgrade include MacBook 2015 and newer, MacBook Pro 2013 and newer, MacBook Air 2013 and newer, iMac 2013 and newer, iMac Pro 2017 and newer, Mac Pro 2013 and newer, Mac Mini 2013 and newer.
Be Prepared for Changes
IT staffs need examine significant new features of the Big Sur and how they will affect business operations. Create a real-life scenario on how to use these new features. The Big Sur will feature a major refresh in UI with refinements like new colour palette and translucency. Basic components like Menu Bar and Dock will have streamlined designs. Be sure that employees can quickly adapt to UI changes. As an example, employees should know how to make the best use of the interactive notifications. The Big Sur will have native support for ARM-based Macs and MacBooks. Decision makers should consider these ARM machines as the next upgrade path to replace current system. There will be native support for iPadOS and iOS apps, so employees can use free apps for light productivity tools. IT staff could use the improved Time Machine that supports back-ups to APFS drives for more reliable and faster performance. The Big Sur allows file-level encryption for more convenient security implementations.
How to Upgrade?
After backing up all crucial data, IT staff needs to check current apps for compatibility with Big Sur. Check whether 3rd party developers will release an update to ensure compatibility with Big Sur. Everyone should clarify upgrade policies to ensure compatibility and prevent conflicts. A company-wide wiki for Big Sur upgrade can be very helpful, including for employees with basic computer knowledge. The wiki is a valuable resource that can expand continuously with relevant information based on the company’s unique situation. With MDM command, IT staff may remotely manage macOS upgrades. To reduce bandwidth demand, IT staff may download the macOS 11 Big Sur to a single Mac and share it with other Macs with the content caching feature. Content caching has been available since macOS 10.13 High Sierra. Employees across the company can go to the App Store to download and install the new OS version. If they choose MDM solutions, they need to use the appropriate tools to complete the upgrade process. Companies should communicate to employees to let them know when to upgrade.
Test the System
Many companies tend to delay a major OS upgrade to observe system stability and application in business environment. However, Apple always extensively beta tests its new software to prevent unwanted issues. Even when issues do emerge, Apple could resolve it swiftly. Apple uses a feature called Test Flight to allow developers perform beta tests and share results to colleagues before the release. To keep things safe and stable, companies may initially start with a network and observe any new issues. Once resolved and everything works smoothly, businesses may deploy the new macOS version to other networks.