Tuesday, September 18, 2012

iPhone 5, BYOD and Enterprise Mobile Strategies

My wife and I are going to do something we have never done before.  We are going to get up early on Friday morning and drive to our local (everything is local in Boise) Apple store so we can report on the silly crowds standing in line to get the new iPhone 5.  If by chance we happen to end up in the store and our iPhones get upgraded C'est la vie.  The things we do for our readers...

Ever since Apple announced the new iPhone 5, each time I open my iPhone there are apps that need updated.  This reminded me of the impact hardware and operating system updates have on enterprises.  In the old days (four years ago), Microsoft would rarely update their mobile OS, and when they did you would have many months of advanced notice.  Today, all you have are rumors up to the very day of the announcement.  This can cause problems for custom built native applications in the enterprise.

In this video interview that I recorded earlier this year with Element Five Solutions' Harish Rau at a ClickSoftware event in Atlanta, GA, Harish shares how he had a large client implementation derail because of an Apple iOS update.  Seems right in the middle of his final testing, an Apple iOS update was released and a large number of his beta group updated.  Suddenly the native app his team was rolling out would not work!  YIKES!

In a BYOD (bring your own device) world, the enterprise is not in as much control.  This means companies must understand the new consumer oriented deployment models, anticipate these events and plan for them.  I know some of the MDM (mobile device management) and MAM (mobile application management) vendors have software that can control and prevent unplanned OS updates.  However, this means the owner of the smartphone or tablet must agree to allow the company to prevent unwanted updates. 

The BYOD environment may not work for companies that have mission critical mobile apps and important SLAs to meet.  If a company's ability to deliver mission critical services to clients is jeopardized by the decisions of the smartphone's owner, then that is a risky environment that many companies may choose not to support.

Kevin Benedict, Head Analyst for SMAC (Social, MOBILE, Analytics and Cloud), Cognizant
Read The Future of Work
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Join the Strategic Enterprise Mobility Linkedin Group
Full Disclosure: I am a mobility analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles. These are my personal opinions only and do not necessarily represent those of my employer.