Apple iPhone 5 Launch Still Leaves BYOD Issues
The Apple iPhone 5 is finally out. There has been lots of jockeying for position over the last few weeks, with several major smart phone manufacturers rushing to beat Apple to the punch. Now that the wait is over, has it been worth the anticipation and the hype? Maybe not, according to a recent CNET Asia report. The new phone seems to build on what already exists rather than offer much in the way of innovation. Perhaps that's good news for IT administrators of midsized businesses, because the introduction of new technology always means having to find new ways to secure it, a key issue given the expansion of the "bring your own device" (BYOD) trend.
The new iPhone is 18% thinner and 20% lighter than its predecessor, the iPhone 4S, and has a wider display ratio (similar to what you would find on modern televisions) and a more powerful chip. There are also improvements in design, materials, mapping (Apple now has its own proprietary service), and voice activation, says the BBC's technology correspondent. These consumer-focused improvements may be enough for die-hard iOS fans to make the switch.
Smart Phones and BYOD
That means IT admins have to start working out how these new devices fit into their existing workplace communications networks and systems. The BYOD trend has remained a challenge for IT administrators because of the variety of devices, operating systems, and apps that users can bring to the workplace. Since Apple plans to keep selling the iPhone 4 and 4S, this new device just adds one more player to the mix. The iPhone has been around for a long time, and since it started the BYOD trend, IT admins must be used to integrating these devices into the workplace. Some of the under-the-hood improvements will make the phone a better work tool. Built-in mapping means there's no longer a need to equip company cars with GPS - another saving.
But IT admins will still have to spend time testing the device and any new capabilities to assess whether they need to boost internal security before allowing them into the company's BYOD network. And they will still have to address the most difficult security issue of all - the potential for human error - by increasing employee education about data security and mobile devices. No matter what new smart phones enter the market, that's not going to change any time soon.
This post was written as part of the IBM for Midsize Business program, which provides midsize businesses with the tools, expertise and solutions they need to become engines of a smarter planet. Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.