Making the Grade is a weekly series from Bradley Chambers who covers Apple in Education. Bradley has managed Apple devices in an educational environment since 2009. Throughout his experience of distributing and managing the 100's of the Mac and 100's of iPads, Bradley will highlight ways in which Apple's products work on a large scale, stories from the ditches of IT- management and ways Apple could improve its products for students.
iOS 12 and MacOS Mojave have both been in the news this week. On the iPhone announcement, Apple announced that iOS 12 should come on Monday, and MacOS Mojave should launch it on 24. For IT administrators, when Apple's software update season hits full time, it might be a sense of dread . Right now we run the most stable versions of iOS 1
With the iOS 11.3 update earlier this year, Apple built some good controls that allow IT departments to postpone OS updates for 90 days. I would definitely recommend doing this for your managed devices.
The reason for this is to allow external vendors to have time to update their devices. While the baits have been out for several months, not all suppliers will be ready to go. By delaying the update, you can also skip the update at 12.0. Since 90 days are up, Apple has probably released iOS 12.0.1 (or possibly 12.0.2), so you can update immediately.
Hardware and Software Dependents
While software for consumer programs and hardware companies often expect consumers to have compatibility on day one, enterprise companies do not assume it (and often do not). One of the reasons I'm running MacOS and iOS is being processed in the summer, is that I can start testing our software and on-site hardware (printers, etc.) for compatibility. If I notice any issues, I report them.
Even with an extended beta testing period, external vendors are often not ready to go with 100% compatibility, so it's ideal to keep users up and give them an additional three months. at full speed. During the beta version and the 90-day window after the update release, make sure you continue testing everything. You should communicate with your vendors about what works and what does not. In the future, I remember which vendors are updating faster than others for new releases.
Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
When you decide to postpone the OS updates, be sure to communicate your strategy to the users. Please give them a timeline when you want to make it available, any current issues, etc. For iPads I manage, my strategy will be delayed for 90 days, but do not force the update until Christmas. Users who are excited about the new features can update after 90 days, but others will not be forced to get it a few weeks later.
When we prepare to go into another software update season, do the MacOS and iOS tests, communicate with the vendors and users, and drink some extra coffee! Take time and do your homework before allowing users to update. Although upgrades are free, there is still the chance that workflows will be affected or the errors will lower your users.
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