iOS 7 and Business Apps: What Every Developer Should Know About the Update


The iOS 7 update, released in early September 2013, had dozens of new consumer-friendly features, but it also placed an emphasis on features and functionalities for businesses.  It is no secret that this heightened enterprise focus has been driven by increased corporate support for smartphone use and apps of all kinds.  We dive into this in our white paper, The New Mobile Business Communication Landscape, in which we suggest that an increase in  BYOD policy adoption and enterprise mobility is fueling the consumerization of IT (business technologies that mirror consumer technologies).

Developing enterprise-grade apps on any platform, however, presents unique challenges — developers must balance the needs of both IT managers and the end user.  The IT manager wants an app that is easy to deploy, implement and configure, while the end user prefers a user-friendly interface and features that make their jobs easier.  Depending on the operating system, developers are also empowered, or restricted, by the operating system’s capabilities.  In the case of iOS, the recent update had a substantial list of business-centric features (found here), but the two most relevant updates for developers have been highlighted below:

Per app VPN.

“Apps can now be configured to automatically connect to VPN when they are launched. Per app VPN gives IT granular control over corporate network access. It ensures that data transmitted by managed apps travels through VPN — and that other data, like an employee’s personal web browsing activity, does not.”

Why this update matters to businesses:  For corporate apps, specifically communication tools, this has important implications for organizations.  Communicating and sharing sensitive corporate data will now have an added layer of security.

Enterprise single sign on.

“Authenticating into corporate apps is now as simple as doing it once.  Enterprise single sign on (SSO) means user credentials can be used across apps, including apps from the App Store. Each new app configured with SSO verifies user permissions for enterprise resources, and logs users in without requiring them to re-enter passwords.”

Why this update matters to IT:  The consumerization of IT trend has increased corporate app adoption.  The andreamanagement of these apps, specifically the authentication process across dozens of apps for multiple employees can be quite overwhelming.  The new SSO feature makes implementing and deploying apps exponentially easier.

Developers must keep these updates above in mind when producing enterprise-grade apps.  Businesses will be looking for solutions that align with the latest Apple features and standards.

This is a guest post from Andrea Kayal, VP of Marketing at Lua Technologies.

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