Mobile // Mobile Business
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11/26/2013
09:00 AM
Andy Smith
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Will iOS 7 Be The Next BlackBerry?

Apple's latest mobile operating system has many features enterprises will appreciate -- and some things to beware.

10 Epic iOS 7 Tips
10 Epic iOS 7 Tips
(click image for larger view)

Apple's iOS 7 operating system includes some new features targeted at enterprise app developers. Apple realizes that device control is not enough and Mobile App Management (MAM) is the only way to meet the needs of the enterprise. Much like Samsung's Knox, Apple's iOS 7 improves app-level control. The question is, do enterprise customers want a specific "company device" anymore?

The days of a company-owned BlackBerry are going away, and now, employees expect a choice of devices or the use of their own personal device.

What we see with iOS 7 is Apple's agreement that what enterprise customers need is more control over apps rather than more control of the device. iOS 7 has made some new features available to app developers that were not available in the past.

[ Financing the mobile workplace has its own challenges. Here's how to face them. 6 Tips For Financing BYOD Workplaces. ]

Apple has also correctly identified another important industry need with iOS 7's support for Enterprise Single Sign-on (SSO). There are many different ways to claim enterprise SSO that may or may not provide value to customers. For example, VPN providers have supported enterprise SSO in their products for years, but the method chosen was not something that most security-conscious customers would choose to deploy.

It's clear that Apple accurately identified a true market need, and solution providers will leverage many of the new MAM features. However, customers will expect these solutions to be cross-platform and not locked down to a specific device manufacturer.

For an enterprise to take advantage of some of the new features of iOS 7, the device must be MDM-managed. While this may be the case for corporate-issued devices, it is becoming increasingly less likely when employees bring their own devices (BYOD). Issues related to privacy and strict contracts for mobile service that employees must sign are real reasons why companies are investing in MAM rather than MDM for BYOD. If you are going down the BYOD route, carefully evaluate if MDM is the correct path for your enterprise and your employees.

Seven Things To Know About iOS 7
There is a lot to like in iOS 7, but there are also some things to watch out for.

The Good:

  • New data encryption features including data protection by default and per-app VPN, which is a good sign for app protection.

  • Auto-configuration for apps can make users' lives easier on day one.

  • Enterprise SSO is a great start, but many companies require multiple forms of SSO, some older protocols and some newer than what was chosen by Apple.

  • Multitasking for apps finally puts other third-party apps closer to parity with Apple apps. In previous versions of iOS, Apple was the only one allowed to run apps in the background, enable notifications, and update automatically. Now, we are all have some new capabilities. It's important for any app to sync automatically in the background so it's ready for the user when launched.

The Scary:

  • iCloud keychain -- although probably good for consumers, enterprise customers probably don't want all user passwords collected and stored in iCloud.

  • No S/MIME changes seem to be present. Many of our customers use encrypted mail, but cannot use the existing features as provided by Apple. There seem to be no improvements in iOS 7.

  • A few new ways to share (read: leak) data -- a new feature called "share sheets" for apps to use AirDrop, iCloud now has photo and video sharing, and devices have peer-to-peer connectivity. All this is great for consumer data, but important company intellectual property needs to be controlled and protected.

The bottom line is that Apple has recognized some critical demands by enterprise customers and app developers for more app-level controls and iOS 7 delivers some of these controls to ISVs and developers.

In the past, Apple was notorious for ignoring the enterprise market. With iOS 7, Apple made some bold moves toward supporting enterprise needs and making a play to replace BlackBerry as the standard enterprise device. However, with the proliferation of personal smartphones and BYOD programs, the days of the corporate phone are numbered.

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Susan Fogarty
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Susan Fogarty,
User Rank: Author
12/2/2013 | 12:01:47 PM
Re: Walking the line between work and play
ASMITH948, thanks for the additional info. That's something our community members should be aware of. Rather than allowing app developers to dictate whether your users can back up their data and passwords to iCloud, you may want to use a MAM solution to control that.
ASMTIH948
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ASMTIH948,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/28/2013 | 1:52:28 PM
Re: Walking the line between work and play
backup to iCloud can be disabled for each app, it is a choice the app developer makes. Many MAM solutions disable this capability for managed apps.
Shepy
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Shepy,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/28/2013 | 7:28:39 AM
Contract
"iCloud keychain -- although probably good for consumers, enterprise customers probably don't want all user passwords collected and stored in iCloud."

Could potentially even be a breach of contract if doing this with customer / client system passwords.
Susan Fogarty
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Susan Fogarty,
User Rank: Author
11/27/2013 | 9:59:49 AM
Re: Walking the line between work and play
I think there are still industries that need corporate phones with heavy security, and in these segments users either still carry two phones, or they submit to the security controls around their personal usage. What concerns me with iOS 7 is the tendency to share everything with iCloud, especially the password keychain. Do you know if there is a way for IT to disable that?
Shane M. O'Neill
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Shane M. O'Neill,
User Rank: Author
11/26/2013 | 6:24:39 PM
Walking the line between work and play
The idea of a strictly "corporate phone" is dying right along with the BlackBerry brand, and nobody will fill a role that's no longer needed. I think iOS 7 is toeing the line as best as can be expected -- ready for fun and games, but also equipped for BYOD programs at work.
RogerW133
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RogerW133,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/26/2013 | 3:12:20 PM
IOS 7 and Exchange
It appears that IOS 7 still does not support or provide three email features that are used heavily in corporate environments, especially with Exchange:

1. Read receipts

2. Urgent email flag

3. Ability to filter and/or alert based on subject and/or content. The VIP feature provides a limited ability to alert based on sender,
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