What the new iPhone 5 means for MSPs

Scott Calonico

Wednesday, 12th September 2012 saw thousands of tech journalists, IT geeks and Apple fan boys huddling around a host of live blog feeds, keen to find out all the latest details on the new iPhone 5.

The hotly anticipated new iPhone boasts a taller, slimmer form factor, a larger touchscreen, 4G mobile connectivity and a fast, A6 processor.

But putting all the media and fanboy hysteria aside, what does the release of the iPhone 5 actually mean to the average MSP business?

Technically speaking, not an awful lot. Although the iPhone 5 specification is a significant improvement on the previous iPhone 4S, there are no major functionality changes that influence how the new Apple product will interface with the businesses MSPs support.

Functionality enhancements (rather than hardware changes) are more relevant to the release of iOS 6, released on September 19th and available for older iPhones as well as the new iPhone 5. Again, however, despite considerable advancements including new Apple Maps technology that will replace Google Maps on iDevices, there are no changes with this release that will have a direct impact on MSPs.

How Should MSPs Prepare?

Just because there are no significant changes afoot, it doesn’t mean that MSPs shouldn’t be ready to deal with an inevitable new flurry of iPhone related questions and tasks.

Here are three things MSPs should do right now to ensure they are prepared:

1.   Learn the iPhone 5’s Specs and Features

Plenty of clients are going to want to know details about the new iPhone and will want to seek the opinion of their IT consultants. Even committed Apple haters and Android fans within MSPs should ensure they know the specs of the new iPhone 5 so that they can answer these questions professionally.

2.   Be Ready for more iPhones on Client Sites

Every new iPhone sells at a mind-blowing pace, so it’s a certainty that some of them will find their way onto the client sites that MSPs support. This means that MSPs need to establish to what extent users are allowed to use their iPhones for business purposes. With this in mind:

3.   Encourage Clients to Develop BYOD Policies

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is an increasing trend in businesses of all sizes, especially now everyone seems to have a smartphone and probably a tablet as well.

MSPs with clients who have yet to consider the support and data protection implications of BYOD should be encouraged to give this some thought and decide a stance. MSPs who encourage this may find some sources of revenue in helping to develop policies and integrating user’s own devices – which are sure to include the iPhone 5.

The release of the new iPhone 5 could fairly be described as evolution and not revolution. While this means that MSPs don’t need to develop new ways of working, it’s fair to say that Apple have done enough to ensure the iPhone’s continuing popularity.