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.
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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 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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