The enterprise guide to the September 24 'Mojave' upgrade

Apple will ship the next major macOS release, 10.14 Mojave on September 24, meaning thousands of Macs currently used in the enterprise will be due for an upgrade.

Apple, Mac, macOS, macOS 10.14, Mojave, Mac, upgrade, enterprise
Leif Johnson/IDG

Apple will ship the next major macOS release, 10.14 Mojave on September 24, meaning thousands of Macs currently used in the enterprise will be due for an upgrade. With a successful iOS upgrade under your belt, here’s what you need to do to prepare your Macs for the next iteration of the OS.

Which Macs are compatible?

The following Macs are compatible with macOS 10.14 Mojave:

  • MacBook (Early 2015 or later)
  • MacBook Air (Mid 2012 or later)
  • MacBook Pro (Mid 2012 or later)
  • Mac mini (Late 2012 or later)
  • iMac (Late 2012 or later)
  • iMac Pro (2017)
  • Mac Pro (Late 2013, plus mid-2010 and mid-2012 models with recommended Metal-capable graphics card)

As you can see, Apple’s macOS supports machines up to six-years old, enabling enterprises to get much more out of their existing hardware investments.

Make a few decisions first

If you’re a small SME, then you are more likely to choose to upgrade your Mac fleet on an ad hoc basis; if you run fleets of these machines (as IBM,Capital One and many education, enterprise, development and design entities do), then you may want to take a minute to think how to approach the upgrade. You’ll want to think about:

Beta:

It makes sense to ensure at least some team members are registered to Apple’s Public Beta Program.

Not only do these individuals become an advance guard to identify potential problems, but they also become thought leaders to guide your employees through new features.

Most essentially, they can contribute to any necessary revision to enterprise security policy – if they run Parallels they can even have spent the last few weeks running the Mojave beta in a virtual machine on their Mac.

Backup:

It makes sense to instruct individual Mac users to back their machines up Friday so most data is secured before the OS ships.

Backup should also take place before the upgrade process takes place. It also makes sense to take an inventory of applications installed on your Macs and to delete any that are no longer approved or used before the upgrade takes place.

[Also read: 10 macOS 10.14 Mojave secrets]

App updates

Don’t forget to visit the App Store to download any application software updates that may be made available after the new macOS ships. If you use Windows in Parallels, that company has also committed to zero-day update of its popular virtualization tool.

Bandwidth:

Just like any iOS update, when multiple Macs attempt to get online simultaneously to upgrade your network capacity may become constrained. It is essential that Macs are connected to the Internet during the upgrade process.

Business management

The Mac upgrade process can be made a little more efficient through use of shared upgrade images, content caching or use of MDM services. The latter including Apple Business Manager and Apple Schools Manager and more sophisticated solutions from third-parties, including Jamf) designed to help you upgrade multiple machines from a software you only download once.

Better time management:

There are multiple new features to macOS 10.14 Mojave, but in most cases the user interface remains familiar.

It will make sense to instruct support to learn new features so they can provide adequate support to any employees who hit a wall. Enabling this kind of advance knowledge across users and organizations is part of what the Apple Public Beta scheme exists for.

It is also important your teams understand that Mac upgrades take time.

Better security:

Mojave introduces a range of new security features that should be looked at to bring in line with enterprise security policy.

It is possible your company will need to look at some proprietary security applications and services to ensure they don’t need further approval after the upgrade takes place, though introduction of OAuth support for Exchange removes a more frequently encountered problem when setting up new user email accounts.

Mojave also makes it possible to restrict AutoFill passwords and prevent password sharing using AirDrop in a couple of clicks.

Beating time:

Installation and upgrade of your Macs will take a certain amount of time. While we don’t know for sure, Mojave is most likely to ship at around 10am Pacific, but overnight installation may make sense in some cases. It is also advisable to allow for time learning to use the new features.

Upgrade today, yes or no?

It makes sense to upgrade your Macs when the new OS ships, in part this is to meet employee expectation, but it also helps reduce security vulnerabilities and boosts productivity with new features. However, you must balance these needs against any proprietary software limitations and/or existing security protocols.

Troubleshooting

I’ve been using Mojave since shortly after its first beta appeared.

In that time, I’ve come across hardly any problems, little instability and found the learning curve to understand the OS to be minimal.

This leads me to believe installation of the new operating system should be trouble-free for most Mac users – any instability that does emerge is usually resolved by restarting the system.

A frequently encountered problem after installing a major software upgrade: Every year some Mac users encounter temporary sluggishness in their computers following an upgrade. This is normal – it’s usually because your computer is updating its Spotlight index subsequent to the upgrade taking place and that update process is usually completed in a few hours. 

In the event you encounter any problems it always makes sense to run Apple Diagnostics Testto ensure your Mac hardware is working OK. It usually makes sense to open Disk Utility and run Disk First Aid following an upgrade.

Additional notes

Apple has been working hard to make its operating systems better for enterprise users (even beyond the zero cost of the backward-compatible upgrades it regularly provides).

For example, macOS High Sierra introduced Cisco Fast Lane for macOS support, a technology that enables IT to optimize network traffic for business-critical tasks.

Apple Business/Schools Manager also let admins defer software updates for their Mac fleets for up to 90-days, which can make sense if you’ve elected to follow a staggered upgrade path across your machines.

Finally, if your company is taking the move to Mojave as a chance to upgrade some of those legacy Windows PCs it may still have lying around, Apple has made significant improvements to its Windows Migration Assistant in this release.

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