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How to Handle Major OS Updates for Mobile Device Management


OS updates are extremely important and intimidating for any IT department especially for mobile devices. There are two sides that we hate: the people who NEVER updater their devices and expect everything to be run smoothly when they try and jump from iOS 5 to iOS 9, and the people who update their corporate device the moment a new update is available without waiting to see if IT has approved the update.

Most of the time updates are good and they need to be implemented as soon as possible. Important errors from the previous OS are fixed and new features are introduced to make lives easier and make the interface more appealing. But when it comes to mobile device management, updating needs to be taken seriously and it needs to be uniform. It’s a little daunting because this process is in the hands of the end user; IT cannot force an update on a device remotely unless they are using containers so you have to make sure everyone is paying attention and is kept up to date on new updates coming out.

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There are a few things to consider before you talk to anyone about the update: You need to see how your MDM provider is handling the update and if you have native apps, you need to test them with update to make sure they are running correctly and fix any issues it might have with your own update. In cases like this, IT can look into getting a Beta version of the upcoming OS and test out enterprise apps first before there’s a chance an employee could jump the gun. Some MDM solutions like AirWatch are ready with their update as soon as it’s available making it a little easier for you if you have a few rouge employees who update early.

The key for the upgrade to go smoothly is good old-fashioned communication. Let the end-users know that there is an upgrade coming, and what you expect out of them and if at all possible, organize some kind of meeting to reiterate your points. It’s important that they know what will happen if they don’t upgrade in terms of older OSes no longer being supported and the security issues that presents. It’s equally as important for you to inform them what upgrading too early can do. A lot of enterprises choose to wait for at least the first update of a new OS before they want the entire company to upgrade, that way all the little kinks can be worked out.

OS upgrades are extremely important and it’s just as important to make sure they’re done right so the transition goes smoothly.

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