How iOS 11 makes mobile management easier

Apple's next mobile OS offers a variety of changes to help IT keep tabs on iDevices

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At its annual WorldWide Developers Conference (WWDC) earlier this month, Apple offered its first preview of iOS 11, which ships this fall and has tremendous potential for enterprise iPad and iPhone deployment. With major enhancements for the iPad Pro, Apple has finally delivered a tablet that can replace a laptop or desktop for the vast majority of users. As a result, iOS 11 will likely drive more adoption of the iPad in enterprise environments.

That new iOS comes with new management features, also highlighted at WWDC, that build on the enterprise features Apple introduced earlier this year in iOS 10.3. Although the public beta of iOS 11 arrived yesterday, meaning a lot of early-bird adopters have it already, I'll focus here on what's coming officially this fall.

DEP for everyone

One of the biggest coming changes involves the enrollment, configuration, and deployment of organization-owned devices using Apple's Device Enrollment Program (DEP). Previously, only devices purchased directly from Apple or certain authrorized resellers could be configured and managed with DEP, which allows for zero-touch configuration. Apple now allows DEP management to be applied to any device, regardless of purchase. This is huge news for organizations that have devices purchased elsewhere or who use other resellers for their technology purchases.

Note: DEP can permanently link a device to an organization. To address accidental enrollment of a device, DEP supports a 30-day provisional period for enrollent, meaning the device can be dropped from the list if need be.

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