While updating to a new standard may not seem like a big deal for consumers, it is going to be a big deal for many organizations, particularly K-12 schools and districts that have invested in thousands of iPads. As additional iPads are purchased, new cabling and possibly even storage and charging systems will need to be purchased or updated. Businesses that have standardized around certain existing accessories, including custom solutions for healthcare, agriculture, industrial companies and even retail operations will all be affected by the switch.
If there's a silver lining here, it's that this can be a phased transition. As new iPhones are purchased, accessories can be bought alongside them. The same will follow with iPad updates.
Businesses can prepare for this transition by looking at their existing set of iOS devices and accessories. One critical thingfor is to determine whether needed functionality will be present when using an adapter - something manufacturers should be able to tell you. Beyond that, it's worth looking at future mobile device purchase plans to decide whether you can stick with dock connector devices for a while. It might be more feasible to slow the transition to Lightning devices like the iPhone 5 and delay buying additional devices like iPads until Apple has fully transitioned all its mobile products to the new connector.
The new Apple-designed A6 processor and improved battery life are both great value-adds for business users, though they don't really affect IT departments and mobility policies.
The iPhone 5 probably won't generate many problems, but it may generate a number of questions from employees. Those questions are most likely to center around the device's LTE support -- with cost and coverage concerns being the key questions IT needs to answer -- and around migration from the traditional dock connector to the new Lightning port. These issues are probably going to be more common in BYOD environments, with questions about LTE coverage and carrier choices the most common. Preparing a user guide for would-be iPhone 5 owners is a great opportunity for IT to offer up resources and answer questions that might otherwise filter in through other channels such as the corporate helpdesk.
While the iPhone 5 itself was the big news during Apple's event, iOS 6 is the bigger enterprise question for most companies. The update, which will be rolled out next Wednesday, includes a range of new features, several of which are excellent additions for business users. But it remains something of a mystery from an IT and mobile management perspective.