As thousands of iPhone (News - Alert) users start downloading and sharing screenshots of their new iOS interface, IT departments are putting their prepared iOS 7 plans into action. Last week, after the Apple (News - Alert) event announcing the iPhone 5s and 5c took place, I had a talk with my dad about the news of the day. While he is not normally as in tune with the tech world as I am (It’s my job), his face lit up as he replied, “iOS 7? We got an e-mail about that today from IT.”
The e-mail read as follows: (Any part of the message that identifies the company has been removed.)
On Tuesday, Sept. 10, Apple plans to release a new operating system (iOS 7) for these devices which will not be compatible with our custom and third party applications.
We are asking that you do not upgrade your company-owned device to iOS 7 until these applications have been upgraded.
You will be notified of an iOS update by a little red circle over the Settings tab on your device – or with a message indicating “Software Update.” Plugging the device into iTunes will also prompt a message saying, “There is a new version of your software.”
Once our applications are upgraded, you will receive another notification with the “ok” to upgrade your company-owned device to iOS 7.
Thank you for your assistance on this issue.
There has been a lot of talk about how BYOD and COPE – corporate-owned, personally enabled – are affecting corporations and IT departments, specifically because of security and data protection reasons. This e-mail is a perfect example of how IT departments have to attempt to control the devices coming into an organization’s network and prepare for the influx of different operating systems. Not being able to integrate the OS with the company’s apps could result in loss of data or productivity.
So, as organizations and managers make sure their employees are upgrading to iOS 7 at the appropriate time relative to their companies, the fact is that there are hundreds of enterprises today with employees using iOS as their primary mobile device operating system. Here are some of the top features iOS 7 offers for to make iPhones, iPads and iDevices better and more secure for enterprises.
Image via Dribbble
First and foremost, Apple has a dedicated iOS 7 business page on its website. The newest OS offers “more advanced ways to deploy devices and deliver a great user experience for your employees.”
These ways include:
- Activation lock – makes it harder for anyone to use or sell an iPhone if it’s lost or stolen. It can’t be reactivated without a user’s password or iCloud information.
- Per app VPN – open a secure VPN connection within any app, such as CRM.
- AirDrop sharing for apps – While not NFC, users can share documents, photos, files – any content that can be shared (via the share button) can be over the air. Works over Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.
- Enterprise single sign on – log in once and be authenticated across all of an enterprise’s apps and services. Pros and cons; what if your device and log in information are stolen?
- PDF annotations – without using a third-party PDF reader, users can see annotations inside a PDF to enable greater collaboration.
- Extended MDM – enterprises can easily provide MDM software to devices running iOS 7. This streamlines third-party MDM solutions.
- VoIP – users can voice chat over Wi-Fi through FaceTime (News - Alert), which could eliminate Skype and other VoIP provider apps; beneficial for employees using Apple devices.
- “Open in” management – giving organizations control over which apps and accounts can open attachments containing corporate data.
IT departments and enterprises seem to be excited about being able to offer employees the Apple experience while simultaneously keeping those devices protected and private to secure corporate data.
Do you think Apple’s updated operating system will compete with the other mobile device management services from Samsung (Knox) and BlackBerry (News - Alert) (BES)?
Edited by Blaise McNamee