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iPhone OS 4.0 – A (small) step forward on enterprise mobility?


Shortly after the announcement of iPad, Apple has now unveiled the iPhone OS 4.0, which has been eagerly awaited primarily due to the multi-tasking and background services. With the ability to play music in background and run VOIP apps in the background listening to incoming calls, consumers are definitely a happier lot.

What about enterprises?

Some of the key enterprise features that I felt would be useful (per Apple documentation – our team is still testing some of these out as I am jotting down this post) and their implications:

Data Protection“Email messages and attachments stored on iPhone 3GS, using device pass-code as an encryption key”. “New data protection APIs for custom and commercial apps so that business-critical information is protected even if the device is compromised” – Certainly seems to be the right step, and offers CIOs some amount of control on how data security is implemented.

Wireless App Distribution“Enables enterprises to securely host and wirelessly distribute in-house apps to employees over Wi-fi and 3G “– certainly makes distribution easier for large enterprises, which are by-passing the app-store. App distribution within an enterprise was a tedious process without the ability to do this wirelessly.

Mobile Device Management“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.” –   Provides the CIO an ability to build his/her own mobile device management solution instead of depending on a third party solution (though without doubt, some of the third party solutions will continue to provide better features and integration with a higher variety of mobile devices)

SSL VPN Support“SSL VPN support in iPhone OS 4 gives users another way to securely access enterprise resources. Forthcoming apps from Juniper and Cisco will support SSL VPN on iPhone.” – Offers a more secure way to connect to enterprise systems.

Overall, the device is getting better for enterprise, however, it still remains predominantly driven into enterprise by consumer than other way round.


** Features (in italics) are from Apple website


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