In a departure from its usual consumer-focused messaging, Apple is touting the benefits of iOS 7 – the latest version of its mobile operating system – to IT departments.
It is an apparent bid to encourage more businesses to issue iPhones and iPads to their employees. "For business, iOS 7 offers more advanced ways to deploy devices and deliver a great user experience for your employees," the company says in a new web page published yesterday.
iOS 7 features that Apple claims make it eligible for business use include :
- The ability for IT to control which apps open which kind of documents on employee devices
- New centralised app licence management features
- The ability to configure apps to open a virtual private network (VPN), so data is not passed over the public Internet
- New mobile device management (MDM) features, such as remote app management and streamlined employee enrollment
- Single-sign on
The fact that Apple, the master of consumer branding, feels the need to promote these features to IT departments would seem to contradict the prevailing belief that organisations are ceding device selection decisions to their employees.
It also implies that Apple, which has seen off any competition from BlackBerry, is responding to growing adoption of Android although in its latest Enterprise Mobility report, remote access software vendor Citrix found that iOS's lead in the business market grew in the last quarter of 2012.