I was talking to a friend about Smartphones in the enterprise. He works for a large public company with a strong heritage of working in the public sector, and therefore an understandably high level of concern about IT security. It was for this reason that – despite the mediocrity of the Blackberry platform against contemporary competition and the plunging market share of RIM – he wanted his organization to standardize on Blackberry.
However, for many people accustomed to more… sophisticated Smartphone platforms, Blackberry seems arcane, counter-intuitive and sometimes an actual hindrance to productivity. That’s not to say that iPhone, with its Apps, games, ease of use et al won’t cause its own distractions but at least people will be able to effectively browse the web!
So it’s with some satisfaction that I note that Apple is upping the game for its enterprise offer – there’s already Exchange controls on iOS devices (pins enforced etc) and remote wipes and remote management is possible (as is location tracking, natch), so enterprise deployment of Apps is an obvious next step in supporting group policy on App deployments within an enterprise environment. That this holds for non-Appstore apps as well is truly remarkable and a very grown up (and atypical) way for Apple to be dealing with the situation. Now, if Apple could just sort out offline email…
I’m going to write further on why Blackberry’s days in the enterprise are numbered and some thoughts on what mobile operators need to do to create more compelling tariffs for the enterprise for iPhone, as have a few other thoughts bubbling under on this.