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