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.
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.
With the release of iOS 6, Apple will offer business users a range of new features. A few of which are VIP email filtering (already in Mountain Lion) with custom notifications, more options when declining a phone call on the iPhone, much-needed privacy options, and Apple’s new Do Not Disturb feature – which should help some mobile professionals to “switch off” after work and maybe even get a good night’s sleep.
iOS updates are generally designed to be user-friendly and easy enough that anyone can manage to install them. As with any major OS or business critical software upgrade, however, there may be unforeseen issues with iOS 6 – particularly when it comes to internal iOS apps and iOS access to enterprise systems.
An iOS 6 upgrade policy and strategy is something that every IT department should have in place before Apple releases iOS 6. For businesses that actively support user devices in the workplace through a BYOD (bring your own device) program, that upgrade strategy is even more critical.
One of the first secure business solutions for the iPhone and iPad was Good for Enterprise, a secure collaboration tool that allows companies to separate business email, calendar, and contact systems from Apple’s standard Mail, Calendar, and Contacts apps. Going beyond simply separating work accounts and data from a user’s personal accounts, Good’s alternatives securely encrypt all data and must be unlocked using credentials other than the passcode used to unlock an iOS device.
Good released a significant update to Good for Enterprise this week, one that makes the solution more streamlined, user-friendly, and offers powerful new features – some of which are worth considering for their business functionality as well as their innate security.