Why will iPhone 4 be better for the Enterprise?
So I get a lot of questions about iPhone 4.0 and whether it’s now “enterprise ready”.
Hard to tell at the moment, although Apple seems to definitely go towards the right direction. After all, iPhone is already used in the enterprise, mainly due to the amazing popularity of it (over 50 million iPhones sold already!) and the fact some IT managers simply don’t care about security as long as they get to play with the best toy in town…
Let’s see what new stuff are there which can improve the way iPhone 4 will be accepted by enterprise companies:
Security enhancements in iPhone OS 4 protect email messages and attachments stored on iPhone 3GS by using the device passcode as an encryption key. New data protection APIs can be used for custom and commercial apps so that business-critical information is protected even if a device is compromised. One important security enhancement any IT manager will embrace.
Wireless App Distribution
iPhone OS 4 enables enterprises to securely host and wirelessly distribute in-house apps to employees over Wi-Fi and 3G. Apps can be updated without requiring users to connect to their computers or go through the AppStore – this is a basic demand by the enterprise, and finally organization will get some decent control over their iPhones.
iPhone OS 4 allows users to set up multiple Exchange ActiveSync accounts and now works with Exchange Server 2010. With the new unified inbox feature, users can see messages from all their email accounts conveniently displayed in a single inbox, or they can quickly switch between inboxes to see messages from any single account. If users receive an attachment that they want to save or edit, Mail now lets you open attachments with compatible apps from the App Store.
Once again, such a basic feature I would ask myself: “how did we use it so far without that one?”
Mobile Device Management
Deploying and managing large iPhone fleets will be even easier with iPhone OS 4. New Mobile Device Management APIs can be integrated with third-party solutions to wirelessly configure and update settings, monitor compliance with corporate policies, and even wipe or lock managed iPhone devices.
SSL VPN Support
SSL VPN support in iPhone OS 4 gives users another way to securely access enterprise resources. These new protocols can even be leveraged to connect seamlessly to a corporate network via VPN on Demand. Forthcoming apps from Juniper and Cisco will support SSL VPN on iPhone.
So I guess my job here is done…
See you all in a few months when we will all be carrying an iPhone and all other vendors will completely disappear… 🙂