The NPR report Wipeout: When Your Company Kills Your iPhone
shows how far the iPhone has come... and how the idea of "employee liable" devices can collide with corporate policies that ask employees to give up control of their devices.
However, "device wipe" when an employee leaves a company may be overkill. One of the areas of focus in Apperian's development of EASE
is to provide granularity of control. That means that if an employee leaves, a company can shut down access to the applications
, and therefore the corporate data
without "wiping" the phone.
The "granular control" approach has other advantages, too. For example, if an employee leaves a department, or for whatever reason should no longer have access to a specific application or data, that application can be "turned off" without impacting other access. Or, if an application needs to be temporarily disabled (e.g., because of upgrades or database changes) this can be done and then returned to service.
Device wipe should be the "last resort" - for example, for a lost or suspected stolen phone. In fact, the recent iOS 4.2 release makes the "Find My iPhone" service free for users, allowing the individual to find their iPhone and request a device lock. This is really the best direction - empowering the user as well as the enterprise!