While many were focused on the consumer benefits of the fingerprint sensor on the new iPhone 5S, I think that Stratechery’s Ben Thompson hit on a very important point that should not be overlooked or underestimated:
However, there is one other huge opportunity that Apple has always been reticent to target: enterprise.
The implosion of RIM and fragmentation of Android are increasingly leaving the iPhone as the default choice of more and more enterprises, and it’s in this light that the rumored fingerprint sensing technology is particularly interesting.
Most corporate laptops require two-factor identification. Previously, this meant a key card, although most now use the TPM chip with a separate password. Phones have been managed; IT departments can require a strong password, and remotely wipe a device, but there is no way to do 2-factor authorization, even though smartphones are just as much a computer as the laptops used 5 or 10 years ago.
In this light the fingerprint scanner is very useful: a fingerprint + password = 2-factor authentication. I could absolutely see the 5S being the first Apple product to not just infiltrate the enterprise from the ground up, but to be actively encouraged and even required by IT departments.