Most of the time, when IT departments or businesses manage a mobile device for security or configuration reasons, the goal is to keep the configurations and security options in place indefinitely -- or at least until a user leaves the company. There are times, however, where a specific feature configuration or restriction needs to be in place for a specific period of time. One example is employees at a conference who will need remote access to the corporate network, even though they don't need it day to day. Setting a VPN configuration grants them access, but once they get back, IT might need to revoke that access. A simpler solution is to have that VPN configuration expire and remove itself after the last day of the conference.
Similarly temps, freelancers and other contract workers might need access to a range of corporate resources -- including Wi-Fi. Setting up that access with an expiration date removes the need by IT or human resources to remove those configurations (possibly by wiping their device).
iOS 6 offers this ability for any configuration profile, meaning that all security and management settings -- or specific settings related to temporary needs -- can be removed automatically. When setting configuration profiles to expire, iOS 6 offers IT admins the option of setting a specific expiration date or setting a more general time period, like five days from now or three months from now. The result isn't just an easier workflow, it also bumps up security because it removes the possibility of someone forgetting to remove the profiles manually down the road.
Beyond basic iOS 6 management capabilities, Apple has added a more stringent set of options that can be configured. This set of options builds on the Supervise functionality of Apple Configurator and the tools that integrate with it. This ability to create supervised or authorized devices delivers a handful of additional security and management possibilities.
The Guided Access restriction allows IT shops to "lock" an iPhone or iPad into using just one app.
I spoke yesterday about the division of capabilities for supervised and non-supervised devices with AirWatch senior engineer Blake Brannon. AirWatch has announced full support for all the iOS mobile management additions as well as integration with Apple Configurator for over-the-air management of supervised devices.
Brannon noted that at companies where BYOD policies are in place, users generally want to be as free as possible when using their devices. In non-BYOD contexts, businesses and schools are often looking to secure shared or corporate-owned devices.