We’ve all been there, championing one side of the tired argument; which OS is better for enterprise mobility; iOS or Android. The truth is, both sides have very real and valid points as to why they prefer each device and if there was a clear winner, the other wouldn’t even be considered for EMM. Android and iOS are very different in their backgrounds and how people tend to use them in and out of the enterprise.
It’s kind of a funny thing when you think about it. I carry an Android and I always have since my first smartphone. When I’m with my techie friends, we’re all droids and sometimes get into talking about new ways we found to customize our phones. When I’m with my friends who aren’t so into tech, I’m the only droid in the room and when the conversation turns to phones, which it inevitably does because we’re all guilty of being glued to our screens, they poke fun at me for carrying a “less sexy” phone. One of my friends admitted that she chose her iPhone just because she wanted to look cool.
That’s the basis of opinions we tend to come across: Android people want to customize and mess around with their phone while iPhone people want a reliable phone that works. Not to say that that there aren’t many exceptions to this rule, but this is what I have come across in my personal experience. This sometimes translates over into the enterprise even though it really shouldn’t.
There have been thousands of articles written in favor of one or the other. Just today I came across one put out by ITWire breaking down the BYOD risk of Apple devices. While this article valid in its reasoning, it’s also true for most devices because it’s all about human error, not the devices. Any enterprise device is only as good as the security placed on it and the maintenance it receives.
This is kind of a cop out opinion to have because we all secretly or not so secretly wish that a winner will rise out of a pile of rubble, but what I think is most important is the care taken in making the decision, especially if BYOD isn’t on the table. Going through and making the decision based on what is best for the company is the most important. I’m very biased toward Android but I can appreciate the benefit of using iOS in the work place especially if most employees are already familiar with it. Picking the correct MDM or EMM solution is much more important than sticking with one OS. Most MDM solutions work with Android, iOS and other OSes just as well.
If we’re talking about BYOD, then the argument is void because the entire point of BYOD is for employees to use the device they’re comfortable with. The point is, each device is only as secure as you make it. When a phone gets hacked, it’s not because it’s iPhone or an Android, it’s because it wasn’t secure enough or someone wasn’t careful enough. There will never be a resolution to this rivalry in or out of the enterprise, but we can all still have fun fighting about it.