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Analysts weigh in: How to prep for Apple iOS device flood in the enterprise

Colin Neagle | Feb. 7, 2012
Businesses might long for the relatively simple policies for corporate-owned mobile devices of the BlackBerry age, but today's realities are forcing them to prepare their networks for a continued onslaught of authorized and unauthorized access from a slew of consumer devices, led by iPhones and iPads.

Braunberg and Weldon share the same sentiment, stressing that the ability to choose what data will be wiped from a compromised device is essential to managing consumer devices on the network. Citing findings from Current Analysis' survey of enterprise mobility practices, Braunberg says those in the enterprise appear to be clamoring for these tools.

"When we asked about the partitioning capabilities, and the ability to do a selective data wipe or selective lock on specific application data, the popularity of those features went up quite significantly," Braunberg says. "That probably speaks to the fact that there are really some concerns about just doing these blanket wipes on phones, particularly if they're not corporate-owned. When we see the ability to be more selective in what we delete, that will make enterprise IT folks much more comfortable with this broader set of devices."

Adoption will increase once the enterprise can break away from traditional mobility management practices and put in place what Weldon calls a new philosophy around securing the network in the mobile age.

"Everything's been very IT-focused until now, and now everyone's thinking about the person who's paying for this or the person who's using this thing even though the corporation is paying for it," Weldon says.

Weldon, Braunberg and Lopez all expect Apple will begin making it easier for its devices to run more customized client applications for partial remote wipe and other corporate management capabilities.

Braunberg says IT managers should not be concerned by the growing volume of consumer devices in employees' hands as much as they should be relieved by the enterprise-compatible advances that are likely to appear in mobile software.

"Every new version of the OS is kind of enterprise-ready across the board," Braunberg says. "If you think mostly about Apple and Google, neither of them had an initial focus on the enterprise, but they've both taken it much more seriously," he says.


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