13th September 2013 – Unless you were on a desert island on Tuesday you’ll have no doubt picked up on the Apple announcement that it is launching two new iPhone devices. Surrounded by the usual excitement and hype, there are two main aspects that have been highlighted and discussed in much detail. One is that the iPhone features fingerprint authentication. Yes, instead of using a password or PIN to unlock, your fingerprint will grant access to your new iPhone.

The second aspect is that one of the new devices being launched, the iPhone 5C, is said to be a cheaper version for Apple to target new markets where it has previously been considered too expensive. While not much cheaper unless bought with a contract, the iPhone 5C is a more affordable option than some of its competitors and offers similar features.

From our perspective, however, we are mostly interested in what Apple’s latest announcement means for the enterprise. The additional biometric security is obviously a key concern for many businesses looking to offer their employees the latest technology and devices.

 

The slightly cheaper device (iPhone 5C) might also prove tempting to junior employees within organisations wishing to take advantage of their enterprise’s BYOD policy for instance.

However, the truly interesting part of Apple’s announcement is its new iOS 7, first announced in June, but which accompanied the development of the new iPhones. Available later this month, iOS 7 is set to shake up the enterprise as it boasts around 200 new features and more enterprise enhancements than any release since iOS 4.0.

It is claimed that this new version will meet baseline security needs for more than 80% of enterprise-owned and fully managed iPhone and iPads, according to Ken Dulaney from Gartner. That said, iOS 7 cannot function effectively without mobile device management (MDM) as many of these features can only be activated on devices with an MDM and mobile application strategy in place.

Even with the beefed-up security that iOS 7 and the new devices offer, MDM is needed to keep organisational data safe. We thoroughly recommend exploring the opportunities and new capabilities offered by Apple devices, however, you should ensure that your company has the appropriate security (and MDM) measures in place before taking the plunge. Shiny new devices and operating systems are well and good, but ensuring security and business continuity is vital.