Not An iOS For Business Certification, But CompTIA’s Mobility Course Is A Start

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CompTIA finally gets into the mobile management game at its upcoming conference.
CompTIA finally gets into the mobile management game at its upcoming conference.

IT industry group CompTIA has announced the agenda for its upcoming Breakaway Conference that runs from July 30 though August 2 in Las Vegas. CompTIA will be offering a two-day/three-session training on mobile devices in the business and enterprise environments during the event.

The training, which CompTIA refers to as CompTIA Executive Certificate in Mobility (Foundations) Course 1, 2, and 3, will focus on three distinct areas – a session on the shift to a mobile workforce and the challenges that this poses for businesses, a session on locking down mobile devices using mobile management solutions, and a session on mobile app development.

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Apple Configurator Gets Quiet, Incremental Update

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Apple Configurator update brings stability and performance improvements, but few new management options.
Apple Configurator update brings stability and performance improvements, but few new management options.

Apple quietly updated its Apple Configurator utility that businesses and schools can use to manage iOS devices. The update brings with it relatively little new functionality to the free tool. Instead it focuses mainly on reliability and performance improvements. The update does, however, introduce some options for handling user content and user-installed apps.

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Most IT Directors (73%) Say BYOD Will Lead To Uncontrolled Costs Not Savings

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increase IT expenses
Instead of saving money, most IT directors expect BYOD will significantly increase IT expenses

Despite the fact that BYOD is often perceived as a way to reduce technology expenses, nearly three-quarters (73%) of IT managers expect that BYOD will have the opposite effect. The big fear is that BYOD will cause IT spending to spiral out of control.

That’s the news from enterprise technology vendor Damovo UK. The company recently surveyed100 IT directors from organizations with more than 1,000 users about their feelings on BYOD and how it is being implemented in their organization.

One major reason for potentially uncontrolled expenses boils down companies losing bargaining power with carriers as employees begin purchasing their own iPhones or Android handsets. While the cost of the device isn’t likely to be passed on to an employer, monthly costs for voice and data service may be a different story. With unlimited data plans slowly going the way of the dodo, many workers may not want to shoulder data bills associated with their jobs, which may lead to a shared expense model.

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Why BYOD Is A Disaster Waiting To Happen For Schools

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BYOD in K-12 schools presents massive challenges to IT staff, administrators, and teachers
BYOD in K-12 schools presents massive challenges to IT staff, administrators, and teachers

Apple firmly positioned the iPad as an education solution during its education even in New York five months ago. Even before that, many schools and districts had begun pilot programs of full on iPad deployments. The iPad provides many opportunities in education as well as some challenges.

One of those challenges is cost. That’s not a surprise, considering the number of iPads required in order to give one to each student in a district. The San Diego school district, for example, recently spending $15 million as part of its massive iPad plan that includes nearly 26,000 devices.

Given the cost of such deployments and the attention that BYOD programs have gotten in both the tech and mainstream media over the past year or so, it was only a matter of time before someone in the education technology sector began to talk up the idea of BYOD in education as a way to cut the costs associated with such deployments.

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What IT Pros Want From An iTunes Revamp

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If Apple is planning a major iTunes update, IT pros have a few things on their iTunes/iOS wish list
If Apple is planning a major iTunes update, IT pros have a few things on their iTunes/iOS wish list

Various reports indicate that Apple is working on a major overhaul of iTunes that it plans to launch later this year. Those reports indicate that the update will be focused on consumer-oriented features like improved app/content discovery, music and media sharing, and greater iCloud integration. There’s also the possibility that Apple might split out some iTunes features into separate apps much like the company has done in iOS – the most recent example being the Podcasts app that it launched earlier this week.

Splitting iTunes into discrete parts is an attractive prospect, particularly for businesses and IT professionals. iTunes has become a bloated hodgepodge of functionality over the years. As a result, IT departments typically face a conundrum about whether to support or even allow employees with iOS devices to use iTunes on workplace computers.

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Businesses Still See A Disconnect With Apple Over App Purchasing

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Don't install too many — iOS 6 can't handle it.
Many businesses still feel that the App Store doesn't truly address their needs

As more and more companies move forward with BYOD programs and/or mobile strategies centered around streamlining workflows for mobile professionals, the idea of the enterprise app store has gone from being a nice add-on feature to being seen as necessity for businesses, schools, and government agencies.

Developing a strategy around mobile apps is seen as a core need by a solid majority of companies – 66% of organization are considering or implementing internal app stores according to a Sourcebits survey of over 6,000 enterprises. That doesn’t mean that actually pursuing an enterprise app store strategy is an easy prospect.

Despite some advances in volume purchasing by Apple, many companies feel that mobile app options are still sub-par for their needs, particularly when it comes to the purchasing process and volume licensing.

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Mobile Industry Could Lose $40 Billion As Companies Embrace iOS, Android, And BYOD

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Mobile companies without strong customer appeal could lose big time as more and more businesses adopt BYOD
Mobile companies without strong customer appeal could lose big time as more and more businesses adopt BYOD.

Most discussions around BYOD and costs focus on one of two areas. The first is the cost reduction that a company might see if employees provide their own iPhones (or other devices) and pay for their own mobile plans. The second is the cost for mobile management solutions to secure and manage those personally-owned devices along with the apps and data stored on them.

Those are major concerns, but research company ARCchart recently identified a completely different cost of the BYOD trend – the revenues that device manufacturers and carriers are likely to lose as BYOD becomes a standard practice across the business world. According to ARCchart, the worldwide mobile industry could take a hit as big as $40 billion over the next four years as a result of BYOD.

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In The Race For iOS Support & BYOD, IT Is Leaving Critical Vulnerabilities Unpatched

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Is the focus on iOS and other mobile devices becoming too big of a priority for IT?
Is the focus on iOS and other mobile devices becoming too big of a priority for IT?

BYOD and ever-increasing mobility are business trends that are forcing many organizations to take a fresh look at security. The idea of employees connecting from home, coffee shops, and even planes has led to an overall increasing awareness of the need to secure remote connections. At the same time, business data residing on the iPhones, iPads, and other mobile devices of those employees is causing the IT industry to take a fresh look at mobile device security.

That is, of course, a good thing. With the focus on mobile security, however, many IT organizations are letting the security and overall design of their core networks to become outdated – and exposing their companies to incredible risks in the process.

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The Rush To Create iOS Apps Can Leave Company Data Exposed And Vulnerable

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FBI director isn't too keen on Apple's security measures.
Companies developing internal iOS apps need to ensure those apps don't compromise security.
Photo: 1Password

Many IT departments are under intense pressure to develop and implement a range of mobility initiatives. Those initiatives often span a range of IT disciplines. There’s the effort to develop internal apps, provide access to new and legacy systems from mobile devices like the iPhone and iPad, the need to manage and support users devices as part of BYOD programs, and the need to develop customer-facing solutions like mobile-oriented sites and native apps.

With so many pressures hitting IT organizations at the same, compromises are being made because of tight deadlines and budgets. According to security expert Jeff Williams, that push to get solutions out as quickly as possible may result in solutions that have major security flaws in them.

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User Input Can Make Or Break An Enterprise App Store

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User input is key to planning and managing a successful enterprise app store
User input is key to planning and managing a successful enterprise app store

Enterprise app stores are becoming a common feature in many business that have embraced BYOD and mobile devices like the iPhone and iPad. An enterprise app store offers two core advantages: it allows users to easily install apps developed internally and it allows IT managers and others to offer a set of recommended apps from public sources like Apple’s iOS App Store.

Given the thousands of business and productivity apps available for iOS devices (not to mention profession-specific apps in other categories), providing guidance to users can help get them started with the best tools quickly and easily. The tricky part, however, is deciding which public apps to include in an enterprise app store.

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