Work has gone mobile, and businesses large and small must now keep up with the growing number of devices used by their employees to get the job done. Maybe you’re a contractor keeping track of repair crews from a field office Mac, or a store owner with iPhone-enabled inventory runners. Or maybe you run a coffee shop using iPads to process sales.
There are many reasons you might want a mobile-enabled workforce, and a lot of ways to go about setting one up, but many of them are quite expensive.
Let’s face it: Asking a person to carry around two devices all the time, one for work and one for play, is just inefficient. When organizations implement overbearing management or ignore privacy concerns, they almost force users to carry a device for work and a device for personal use.
While a few employees may enjoy the air-gap separation of church and state, most people buckle under the stress of having two separate devices to potentially forget in a cab or leave on the airport bathroom sink (true story!).
If you know what the word “containerization” means, you probably work in IT (or you’re tech-savvy and adventurous enough to run afoul of your IT department on a regular basis). Containerization is the method of securing a device for corporate use by putting a part of it behind some type of authentication — without managing the actual device.
It’s a common practice in the corporate world, especially for bring your own device (or BYOD) environments, because containerization is often viewed as more lightweight than mobile device management, aka MDM. Users also may assume that MDM is overly intrusive and that containerization is a good compromise.
However, many of these issues are already solved for iOS. By leveraging Apple’s built-in privacy protections, AirWatch allows IT departments to preserve the native device experience while protecting corporate data.
Apple will launch the next iPhone (presumably named the iPhone 5) along with iOS 6 tomorrow. The new iPhone is expected to pack a range of updates that will make it a much more significant release than last year’s iPhone 4S. The biggest expectation is that the iPhone will include 4G LTE support and that, unlike the new iPad, it will support LTE bands used outside of North America.
We won’t know all the details of the iPhone 5 until Apple’s unveiling at the Yerba Buena Center. There are, however, three important issues that business users and IT managers will need to in mind during and after following tomorrow’s launch event – all three of which could have a significant impact on bring your own device (BYOD) programs that encourage users to bring their personal mobile devices into the office.
At VMWorld, this week VMWare showed of Horizon Mobile for iOS – an enterprise solution that separates business apps and content on an iOS device from a user’s personal apps, documents, and data. It’s an iOS version of a tool that VMWare previously demoed, but hasn’t yet shipped, for Android devices. While the name and the goal of Horizon mobile is essentially the same on both platforms, the company is taking a vastly different approach for iPhones and iPads.
Not only is the iOS approach different, it’s also nowhere near as revolutionary – other mobile enterprise companies have using similar approaches for a while and the one truly distinctive feature is one that Apple might not approve for distribution.