Apple’s recent announcement of new features coming in iOS 5 included a number of interesting capabilities that will have a big impact on enterprise iOS deployments. The update with the biggest enterprise impact may be Apple’s new ‘PC Free‘ functionality for iOS — no longer requiring users to plug iPhones and iPads into their computers.
When receiving a new device, a user can activate the phone directly on the screen itself rather than having to plug into iTunes. This should give enterprise IT departments a reprieve from worrying about needing to install iTunes on everyone’s computers or finagling a central iTunes computer per office.
The other critical need for iTunes is traditionally backing up the iOS device. Coupling the PC-less function with iCloud, devices will be backed up to the cloud without the need of any new IT systems inside the organizations. iCloud will bring other enterprise opportunities and challenges (I’ll touch in those in a future post) but the core backup capabilities will make supporting iOS devices much easier.