In a survey from December 2012, 63% of respondents said that iOS will be their primary enterprise platform in the next twelve months, if it isn’t already. There’s no doubt that Apple has taken the enterprise world by storm. Its done just enough to offer enterprises security and management, and although there’s a list an Ethernet (Firewire?) cable long of enterprise requests, it hasn’t been enough to stop enterprises from letting users have these devices. Maybe that is, until now.
With the release of iOS 6.1 last month, we are starting to hear reports from clients and MDM vendors about a bug with it that is causing excessive communications between devices and the Microsoft Exchange servers, especially with calendaring that is causing conflicts and could knock them offline. Besides cutting off users, the only thing IT can do is ask them not to use the calendaring function or install the upgrade. Apple’s fix for today is to just have users reset their calendars. Umm, OK. Could this have been avoided? You would think. I honestly don’t know how much testing Apple does with enterprise software before it releases a new version. Whatever it is, it’s not enough. This has happened before. A couple years ago, a conflict, again with Exchange, occurred during the iOS 4.0 release. A quick patch on the device was enough to alleviate the issue, but just a few devices could knock out email for a whole company.
So if Apple isn’t doing (enough) testing, you should. Gartner has recommended in the past to test any new version of mobile OSes before they are allowed internally, this isn’t new. Gartner itself has an internal testing lab with a seperate email server to evaluate any new devices or OSes before it is supposed to be adopted by the employee user base. But with Apple, there is no way to stop users from updating on their own. You could block them from access if they do an unapproved update, but no one wants to do that. OS management–another thing to add to the enterprises’ wish list. That and maybe Android devices!
Are you seeing any problems with Apple iOS 6.1? What’s your policy on OS updates for smartphones and tablets?