Next month will mark four years since the iPhone’s release. While this is a huge milestone for mobile, we’re also approaching the anniversary of a lesser known landmark of perhaps greater historical significance: June 21st, 2010. On this day, a critical operating system upgrade enabled the iPhone to support secure VPN (Virtual Private Network) access in earnest.
When iPhone Met Industry
Companies serious about enterprise mobility received this news like the shot of a starting pistol; support for VPN in the iOS finally satisfied the key prerequisite for CIOs and CSOs to unleash critical company information to their employee’s iPhones in a secure and controlled fashion. Although the initial iPhone had limited VPN support, it wasn’t sufficient to support mainstream enterprise IT needs.
Enterprises could at last partake in the iPhone paradigm that consumers had already been enjoying for almost three years.
The value proposition of harnessing “new mobile” in the line-of-business setting rivals the economic impact of consumer mobility. Mobile enterprise solutions can make supply chains more efficient, employees happier, innovation happen faster, and, of course, cut costs. As a result, companies must now think of mobile strategy through two equally important lenses. First, how can consumer mobile enhance their product offerings and brands? And second, how can enterprise mobile transform their company internally?
Forward thinking companies such as General Electric quickly embraced the potential of enterprise mobile applications. While GE were early adopters of the iPhone and iPad for presenting data and sharing non-critical business information, the arrival of VPN allowed them to use these devices in a wholly new manner. Internally designed apps such as the Transformer Monitoring app now allow GE to manage gas turbine inventory and electronic turbines throughout the world, and their PDS Movement Planner helps service personnel monitor railway tracks and retrieve diagnostic information on locomotives.
Challenges for Enterprise Mobility
Few companies have innovated with a speed comparable to GE. Since enterprise mobility is not something that can be bought off the shelf, leveraging the fruits of mobile business applications requires empowering your organization to develop and deploy apps on its own. Even a simple app that allows employees to coordinate conference rooms through mobile has a significant number of very specific considerations, and failing to fully integrate such an application into an organization’s existing technology stack will severely diminish its usefulness.
For most companies, enterprise mobile initiatives are still being inhibited by blockades relating to private cross-platform deployment and impeded by considerations surrounding continuous integration. Empowering your employees to create successful enterprise mobile apps is as simple as removing these obstacles. At Mutual Mobile, we help absolve these issues to help companies develop business changing enterprise apps from the bottom up.