When Apple launched the iPhone (and the iPad soon thereafter) consumers were eager to use them everywhere—even at work. We experienced what was then referred to as “the mobile mind shift.” User behaviors and expectations changed overnight and demands from employees with iOS devices created an immediate urgency within IT to determine how to best incorporate iOS devices into the enterprise without impacting overall UX or compromising data security.
Along with mobile’s rapid evolution and continued innovation (e.g. wearables, IoT), however, also came the last things IT needed—the ever-growing complexity and security concerns that come with supporting new devices, operating systems, and applications.
Thankfully iOS 9 simplifies EMM for IT, demonstrating Apple’s trend towards assisting with enterprise mobility management and other concerns. iOS 9 delivers new features and capabilities that streamline deployment of enterprise mobile devices while enhancing their security. These new enhancements are significantly changing the way IT will distribute and configure managed devices, as well as install and manage apps on managed and BYOD devices.
Let’s look at the top iOS 9 features and capabilities that help IT streamline enterprise deployment of devices and apps:
- Automated Enrollment. iOS 9 easily integrates with EMM solutions enabling IT to automate enrollment for hundreds (or thousands) of managed devices with just a few touches, meaning employees can be productive the minute they first boot-up their device.
- Optimized User Set-up. IT administrators can now configure a built-in Setup Assistant through their EMM solution that lets employees set-up their own devices, eliminating the need for IT to physically touch devices and speeding up delivery of corporate apps.
- Convert Unmanaged Apps. IT administrators can now convert apps already installed on devices into corporate-managed apps without losing data stored on the device, ensuring no work is ever lost.
- Device-based Licensing. Through device-based licensing IT can now distribute or assign apps to devices—instead of users—forgoing the need for Apple IDs. With BYOD becoming more and more the norm, IT is finally able to install apps on user devices in the absence of any Apple IDs. Not only are employees equipped with the tools they need to be productive, but the task of managing enterprise applications has itself been made considerably easier.
Security continues to top the list of IT initiatives due to cyber attacks and virtual workforces becoming the standard versus the exception. Again, iOS 9 delivers new features that assist IT in securing company data without impacting employee productivity. The following highlights some key features:
- Distribute Apps without the App Store. IT administrators can now install and update apps through an EMM server or Apple Configurator 2, bypassing the App Store. This eliminates what was previously a time-consuming process, and solves security challenges due to users installing unauthorized App Store apps.
- Protect Corporate Data Sharing. Combined with an EMM solution, iOS 9 allows IT to prevent managed apps and email accounts from sharing corporate data by restricting the use of AirDrop. This finally mitigates the risk of a longstanding IT security concern (one that’s been around since mobile devices were allowed in the enterprise).
- Networking Security. New enhancements to the Per-app VPN feature now provide IT increased control over network traffic initiated from mobile devices, routing only corporate app traffic through a VPN connection to achieve better security and privacy.
- Secure User Experience. With the new Trust UI feature, users of managed devices now know if they are installing an app from an authorized or an unauthorized developer. Trust UI allows users to trust the certificate used to digitally sign in-house apps while preventing users from installing unauthorized apps on managed devices.
Clearly Apple recognizes its responsibility to simplify enterprise mobility management for IT while utilizing enhanced enterprise security to improve productivity overall. These improved security measures for managing mobile devices and apps let employees feel confident in the security of their mobile transactions and data.
This overview of the key benefits iOS 9 provides enterprise IT will assist your IT organization as it looks to upgrade its managed and BYOD devices. The Propelics team has deep experience assisting customers looking to harness the capabilities of new technologies to improve employee productivity and user experiences. If you need help ensuring your organization capitalizes on all the benefits iOS 9 delivers, check out our Emerging Technologies Kickstart and start integrating new mobile technologies for exciting, productive user experiences.
Sr. Strategist & Client Partner Manager