Apple is well known for innovation through iteration. The original iPhone redefined what a phone is capable of and subsequent models continue to push the bar higher. From the very beginning, the Mac pushed the personal computer industry forward; OS X continues this tradition. Constant improvements of displays, batteries, and processing power make MacBook the choice for professionals seeking power and mobility. OS X will soon see its 12th major release since 2001: OS X El Capitan. This update will bring great productivity features for Mac users, and IT Pros supporting Apple devices will see improved security controls, enterprise integrations, and new deployment workflows.

Businesses of all sizes are increasingly offering Mac, iPad, and iPhone for their employees. Apple's continuous innovation, paired with a robust third-party developer community, makes an appealing choice for organizations. The IT Pros who support Apple devices know to plan for an annual OS upgrade cycle—read on for tips on how to make this as painless as possible.

For many years, Apple made beta versions of OS X and iOS available to register developers. Starting this year, the public is invited to test betas as well — making it much easier for IT admins to test business-critical software before the OS is released. You can sign up here for beta access, direct from Apple.

Choose when to upgrade
Some organizations prefer to wait on OS upgrades until other IT systems or applications are updated for full compatibility. Communication with users is key — after all, with free upgrades through the native Software Update Service, users can upgrade on their own. Make sure your users know when the new OS will be rolled out and if there are any critical compatibility issues they should be aware of. For maximum control, you can use the Casper Suite to block the El Capitan installer until you’re ready.

Apple's user-friendly deployment programs
Alongside the new operating systems, Apple is improving the Volume Purchase Program (VPP) and Device Enrollment Program (DEP). If you’re not already using them, now is a great time to learn more about these programs and start testing. DEP makes deploying Mac, iPad, and iPhone a breeze; VPP gives IT critical license management capabilities for App Store apps.

With the right tools in place, the new productivity, security, and management capabilities of OS X El Capitan and iOS 9 can be in the hands of users and IT staff immediately following their release. The Casper Suite provides the best way to seamlessly upgrade your operating systems—or restrict an upgrade—and can ensure security measures are met, accurate inventory maintained, and costly downtime eliminated throughout the process.