Business is cozying up to iOS 7

iOS 7 has been officially available since September 18, and given the attitude of corporations to move slowly on operating system updates and embracing new technologies, you might expect that it will take time for iOS 7 to make it into the executive suite. Joel Mathis at Macworld says that nothing could be further from reality in a post today titled "Why businesses are embracing iOS 7."

Mathis quotes Erik Frieberg of VMWare as saying that "You might even say that iOS is the most corporate-friendly OS on the market right now." Through a series of discussions with mobile enterprise experts, Macworld found that they are quite happy with iOS 7's advances in five main areas:

  • Device security: Activation Lock makes it easy to keep thieves or those who find lost devices from being able to restore or reactivate devices running iOS 7, and Touch ID on the iPhone 5s provides an added layer of security.

  • App security and management: In a world where iPhones and iPads are entering corporations as part of "bring your own device" initiatives, being able to create a dividing line between corporate apps and data and personal usage is important. iOS 7's Per App VPN feature means that corporate apps can easily connect to a company's virtual private network for work, while personal apps cannot. Distribution and management of apps is simpler now, and Enterprise Single Sign-on gives users access to multiple apps with one passcode entry.

  • Tools for teamwork: Here, Mathis notes that iOS 7's AirDrop capabilities are being used in Kibit's Collaborate app for file exchange purposes. Those same capabilities can power other collaborative apps that are still on the drawing boards.

  • Widespread adoption: Corporations don't have to deal with multiple versions of the operating system due to easy updates. Mixpanel's trend data shows that almost 70 percent of iOS devices are now running iOS 7 after just two and a half weeks. That's easier on corporate IT departments, as they don't need to design app deployments for multiple versions of an OS.

  • Free office apps: Now that iWork is available for free on new iPhones running iOS 7, Apple can compete with Microsoft Office with three apps that appeal to corporate users.

Mathis' post concludes with a wish-list of items that corporate IT leaders are hoping Apple embraces for future versions of iOS, but he points out that "despite these shortcomings, the experts consulted by Macworld seemed uniformly impressed by iOS 7."