For many people “iOS updates” sounds exciting because it usually brings cool new features to mobile users. However, for IT professionals, who are responsible for the enterprise app portfolio, this may even cause some sense of nervousness.
Why is that so? Let’s imagine you are responsible for 50 mobile apps in your organization. With each mobile OS update, many of the apps need to be updated in order for you to be able to continue working regularly on the updated devices. The amount of effort that each organization needs to make to ensure this kind of compatibility is huge.
Even if your organization is willing to make this effort for each update, still it’s a very difficult project to coordinate among several teams, external app suppliers, as well as complete it all on a very tight schedule before each update.
Blocking OS Updates
Many IT guys just think that preventing your users from performing updates is the right solution to take. However, this is not a good solution because firstly, you are going against your users – they want to update to maximize their device usage. You are also interested in updated devices, because it usually solves security issues.
Secondly, this action is also very difficult to implement, merely because there are no simple ways to block iOS updates. You will probably not even be able do that to managed devices, using MDM software.
The few solutions that currently exist to block updates are kind of hacks. For example, blocking specific addresses and port on the firewall or installing some unnecessary configuration profiles.
Other companies just ask their users to delay the upgrade until they ensure that all apps are ready. This is the most common solution today, but many users just don’t follow this, especially if this is their personal device.
The Virtualization Approach
Luckily, now there is a solution that can help you support future versions with no effort at all. With Mobile App Virtualization, the apps are running in the datacenter and the users are accessing them with a thin client app. We make sure we test and update this thin client with any new OS version, long before your users need to perform any updates.
The apps themselves are running all in one OS version in the server and don’t need to be updated, according to the users or vendors desires. You have the full control when to update the virtual environment version and you also have ample time to plan such upgrade way in advance. App virtualization also has additional benefits such as the ability to enhance security, reduce development time and also provide support for un-managed devices.
Bottom line: Do not be a slave to OS updates – check out how virtualization can make your work simpler, improve the uptime of your apps and most importantly – make your users happier.