Apple's recently released Mavericks operating system for Mac highlights a shift in the company's approach to offering enterprise-class features. The changes have been embraced by employees who use their personal laptops for work; meanwhile, IT departments have let out a collective sigh as Apple's new enterprise-friendly OS will make things increasingly complicated in regard to software updates and bring-your-own-device policies.

Mavericks is a free and backward compatible upgrade for computers as far back as the 2007 iMac, which Apple hopes will attract a large number of its customers to download - similar to the success of iOS7 for the iPhone and iPad. According to a recent CIO article, nearly two-thirds - more than 200 million devices - were running on iOS7 five days after it was released. However, many IT professionals are asking employees not to download Mavericks until they have a chance to test it against their current capacities, or until software companies have a chance to release their own updates.

Questions over whether Mavericks will work with mail applications, Microsoft Office, printers, VPN clients and other software have many IT departments preoccupied with the anticipated surge in usage of Apple's new OS. For example, consumers who use Mac's mail application for Gmail accounts have experienced some serious issues with regard to compatibility, according to a recent ZDNet article by David Morgenstern.

"The problems for most users will be that Mail takes a significant time to display messages in the Inbox and other mailboxes — here 'significant' could be more than a day, even a several days, depending on the number of messages stored," Morgenstern wrote.

Supporting the BYOD trend
Mavericks was designed to support BYOD capabilities including data protection through FileVault 2 and data-in-transit protections through on-demand VPN.

"From a BYOD angle, Mavericks addresses a lot of enterprise concerns with automatic MDM enrollment or organization-owned devices and more advanced password policies," said Tom Kemp, CEO at Centrify, a provider of unified identity services, according to the news source.

While Mavericks is intended to entice BYOD workers, the key takeaway from its release is continuing efforts to introduce new enterprise features to compliment growing tech trends. IT professionals will constantly be on their toes trying to integrate new operating systems with existing company software. As this is a perpetual cycle, IT departments may need to redistribute responsibilities such as endpoint security and mobile device management to managed service providers that are able to dedicate more time and resources to ensuring the latest OS upgrades are compatible and up to date with businesses' current software capabilities.