Courtney Buchanan who writes for the Chief Mobility Officer Blog over at Visage Mobile writes about some of the new enterprise features that Apple announced ( Glossed over ) at WWDC. It’s a pretty complete list with some interesting commentary – take a look.
iOS 7 is a major update for the enterprise. While much of the media focus emphasizes the big changes to the user interface (UI) there is a substantial suite of new features and upgrades to the existing capability of iOS that will impact the enterprise – most of them very good.
Of course the devil is always in the details. Based on what I see in Apple’s Developer site/community, the release of the API’s for many of these functions seems elusive (as of yesterday at least, unless I missed something).
What to do:
CIO’s and their relevant mobile focused resources should keep an ear to the ground and not get caught off guard by the potential impact of this upgrade. The good news is that the iOS 7 release is still months away.
The questions raised by a sample of CIO’s, IT EVP’s and some enterprise BYOD suite providers that I have spoken to since the iOS 7 announcement include:
1. SSO and Per App VPN: What protocol is being used (ipSec, SSL, other? and what are the back-office requirements? What is the impact on our enterprise app storefront design (existing and in process)? What are the methods of authentication/identity and policy?
2. What role if any does the new iCloud Keychain play a part of the enterprise class SSO, and in either case, where are the conditions for username/password storage?
3. Auto-App Updates: Can this be shut off? Are they (finally ) controls to prevent OS upgrades by enterprise employee’s before an IT / developer review? (for security, compliance and enterprise app breakage). What is the compatibility of auto app updates work with container or app wrapper schemes ? How granular are the auto-app controls, if any (iTune App store vs Enterprise App store?).
4. Airdrop – “interesting improvements for the consumer” but what controls for sharing exist for the enterprise?
5. Volume App Pricing: Most comments were very positive, citing a much-needed change but lots of chatter related to the fragmentation across platforms. This is not really an Apple issue in isolation, but one where enterprise business leaders are clamoring for some standard mechanisms.
6. How will iOS 7 impact existing EMM suite solution providers, including the usual cast of characters (BYOD, MAM, MIM, MDM and Ei-Ei-O solutions) -:)
7. There is also some down in the weeds chatter about Apple’s messaging service (APNS) that is in use by most (all?) MDM providers to wake up the on-device MDM profile and call home for updates etc., that is relevant to what Apple may, or may not, be doing to increase its service reliability.
I’m sure as the dust settles and Apple starts to talk more about the detail schemas on these and the other enterprise goodies in iOS 7 more questions will arise.
One immediate action that enterprises might consider given that Apple’s developer qualification bar is so low: warn employee’s against any thought of paying the $99 bounty to get a developer account and downloading the iOS 7 beta to their phones.
What do you think about the enterprise feature set intended iOS 7? What do you like? What worries you?
Feel free to leave a comment here or write to me at email@example.com
Note 1: http://blog.appsense.com/2013/05/the-risk-of-ios-device-management-with-mdm-only-solutions/
Jon Wallace, CTO of Cloud at AppSense does a really good job of laying out some the issues I am thinking about around MDM and Apple’s APNS issues here: The Risk of iOS Device Management with MDM Only Solutions