Is containerization necessary for iOS devices at work?


Everybody wants to bring their own device to work. AirWatch takes the hassle out of BYOD.
Everybody wants to bring their own device to work. AirWatch takes the hassle out of BYOD.
Photo: William Iven/Pixabay CC

This post is brought to you by VMware AirWatch.

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.

AirWatch means better BYOD

AirWatch utilizes Apple’s management framework to control data flow between apps. This means: IT can’t see your personal apps and data; only corporate apps and data are managed; and no information crosses between work and personal applications. AirWatch uses a per-app VPN and single sign-on to work apps to provide the seamless experience users expect from their personal mobile devices.

Now an employee can seamlessly hop from their Instagram app to their company’s file server, while AirWatch manages employee access, security and privacy concerns.

Cue IT managers and employees locking arms and singing “Heal the World.”

With AirWatch, company-specific apps live right next to your personal apps in perfect harmony and are delivered effortlessly to your iOS device, preserving the native experience for users.

From the employee’s perspective, this is a huge win. With AirWatch, a BYOD deployment includes device-level control points that prevent tracking of personal apps on the employee’s device. The enterprise wipe feature ensures only company data can be erased by IT. And self-service enrollment means employees can opt out at any time.

Meanwhile, the IT department still gets the control and security the company needs.

More oversight for company-owned devices

On the other hand, what if you need more control over corporate-owned devices? In healthcare, education or retail, industry regulations often mean that IT needs to add extra security to a device. For these use cases, AirWatch utilizes Apple’s Supervised mode.

Supervised mode proves corporate ownership through Apple Configurator or Apple’s Device Enrollment Program (DEP), which lets you issue boxed devices to users that they can easily set up on their own — that means no more high-touch setup tasks for IT.

Plus, the IT department can control more device and security settings, from disabling screen recording to redirecting all web traffic through a proxy server. Native apps like FaceTime, Safari, iTunes and Game Center all live under your control.

In classrooms, for example, this allows only certain apps and content to be used by students. AirWatch also makes it easy to disable iCloud Photo Library and syncing with an Apple Watch for any devices your company owns.

AirWatch enables many other handy features as well. Do you allow employees to use their own Apple IDs on company-issued devices? AirWatch lets you disable the activation lock when a device is returned to you. And silently pushing apps to any device is a painless way to get your employees the tools they need without them making separate requests or handling downloads.

With different options for managing devices based on use case and ownership, IT can meet its requirements — and the expectations of users — with MDM for iOS from AirWatch. Take advantage of a free 30-day trial of AirWatch today. It’s an easy way to level-up your mobile device management chops, or at least encourage your friendly IT staff to do so.


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