Enterprise administrators give Apple's enterprise efforts a 'B' grade for 2023


For the fourth year in a row, Six Colors conducted a survey asking a panel of Apple enterprise administrators to grade Apple's enterprise efforts in several key areas. The panel included 128 respondents, about half of whom manage more than 1,000 devices. Let's a take a look at the results.

Like last year, Apple's strongest grades came in the categories of hardware and security. It's important to note that these scores indicate a general trend, and the results vary among the respondents. We've included a handful of quotes from the respondents to give you a sense of the varying perspectives.


In the category of hardware, Apple's grade went from a 4.2 last year to a 4.3 this year. This is Apple's best grade in the survey.

Joel Housman wrote: Every year there are hardware issues, and every year these issues are mostly resolved. The M2-based Macs are very promising, especially for EDU. With the potential for lower-end Mac Mini/ iMac to be introduced, I think we will see more Apple hardware in the future. I truly hope that continues.

June Billings wrote: Apple is focused on consumers and makes little or no effort to cater to Enterprises. e.g. no grace time for accepting updated T&Cs, no allowance for time for corporate legal teams to review.


Deployment saw a significant increase in its grade, rising from a 3.4 last year to 3.9 this year. This is the category that saw the largest increase.

Rebecca Latimer wrote: It would be nice if Apple gave clearer timelines about API deprecations and documented when certain things will stop working. In one of the betas, any app that wasn't using the newer ScreenCaptureKit API call (rather than a deprecated method) would display an error message repeatedly to the end user. If that change had made it to production, it would mean that every CEO who tried to share their screen via Zoom would have to deal with multiple popups, containing a confusing error that meant nothing to them.

Apple's pace of operating system releases and the method of release (online only) were continuing sources of frustration for many in the group.

Nate Felton wrote: The improvements in this category are around service availability and access controls for Managed Apple IDs (MAIDs). The introduction of iCloud Keychain and Passkeys for MAIDs is a huge step in the right direction. One current oversight of adding additional services to MAIDs is the lack of ability to increase the iCloud storage for a MAID, resulting in the free 5GB tier quickly being used up.

macOS identity management

Apple's grade in the macOS identity management category rose from 3.2 to 3.5. This category saw the second-largest increase in score.

Adam Anklewicz wrote: The enterprise programs are pretty good for what they are, but they're pretty stagnant. While the Federated Apple IDs is a welcome and long overdue change, these programs have barely budged since first introduction. VPP continues to only work sporadically without any changes in years.

Jeff Finlay wrote: Listed programs are working well at my higher ed enterprise.

Dennis Logue wrote: The efforts to improve software updates are appreciated but still not complete.

Tom Bridge wrote: Apple has invested heavily in Apple Business/School Manager in the last year, as well as in Managed Apple IDs, in new and important ways that empower enterprises to make better use of these core technologies. It is exciting to see Apple adapt these areas of their products for the needs of businesses of all sizes. There are still challenges here, and progress is often slow, sometimes even imperceptibly so, to get needed improvements and needed goals. Apple is a slow-moving ship in the channel, carrying a lot of programs, and it's got a quality pilot, but sometimes the course is just a little off. Apple's secrecy is part of its DNA, but the absence of better partners who are read into the plan means it takes longer for MDMs to adopt and adapt to the roadmap in Cupertino.

Security & privacy

In this category, Apple's grade dropped from 4.4 to 4.2, the largest drop of any category this year.

Mischa van der Bent wrote: Apple's failure to extend program availability beyond the US, particularly in regions like EMEIA, persists. For example, Apple Business Essentials is still not accessible in many areas. This lack of global inclusivity underscores the need for improvement.


In this category, Apple's grade was 3.4, the same as last year.

Tony Williams wrote: There could be improvements but it is pretty good.

John C. Welch wrote: One of the few bright spots in terms of documentation from Apple.

Michael Reinhart wrote: Some of this is still not available

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