Here's what you need to know before deploying iPhones and iPads to your company.
Apple's success with consumer devices has made the its iPhones and iPads a popular choice for the workplace. Once a company that was heavily focused on consumers, Apple devices are now seen regularly in offices and have been adapted to numerous different work scenarios.
The key to successfully using iOS at work has just as much to do with the company's App Store as it does with the actual hardware and operating system. You also need to understand what options you have for securing iPhones and iPads in the workplace and ensuring that data doesn't end up in the wrong hands.
Features for business
Many companies want to have more control over iOS devices that are used for work. For this, you'll want to look at a corporate-owned deployment. The IT administrators can restrict what apps and services the user is able to partake in.
With this approach, the business can supervise device management. For example, a business can turn off iMessage, Game Center, restrict devices that can connect through AirPlay, or enable the manual installation of files. Teams that work closely with their employees on which apps and services to allow are likely to have the least amount of pushback when it comes to locking down devices.
Part of Apple's strategy to show itself as a serious platform for the workplace is through partnerships with other long-standing companies. For example, Apple has partnered with IBM and Deloitte to build iOS-specific applications and other solutions that can be customized for a company's specific workflow.
The applications run the gamut of retail, health care, finance, insurance and other industries. While these are geared more for medium to large size companies, the breadth of examples illustrates the popularity of doing work on iOS. Additionally, both Microsoft and Google have an extensive portfolios of iOS apps, with Office 365 and G Suite supported.
Apps to get started
Apple is always quick to tout the success of its App Store as a destination for services that suit several business needs. That's because even a small shop or one-person operation can tap into the App Store to use what third parties have developed for getting things done.
While Apple has its own section of recommended business apps, your best bet is to dig through the App Store and find the apps that suit your businesses' use case. For example, just about every small store, food truck or street retailer has taken advantage of Square for accepting payments. There are plenty of other point of sale apps that allow you to accepting credit and debit cards through an iPhone or iPad. [Read related article from our sister site Business News Daily: Best iOS Apps for Business]
If you're deploying Apple devices in your workplace, be willing to experiment ̶ and be wary of the slow financial squeeze of in-app subscriptions. Most companies want the steady revenue stream of that monthly fee, but those can add up if you're not careful about cancelling services that are no longer in use.
For those who want iOS to be their go-to business operating system, there is much to explore. The core approach is to find the deployment method and application package that works best for your team.