This article from TechRepublic is nearly two months old, but remains an interesting read. I’ve observed that, in the past year, interest in iPhones and Android has grown significantly but I’ve yet to meet a customer with a serious strategy around those devices. The trend, as pointed out in the article, is for end users to enthusiastically bring their shiny new devices into work and then ask (expect?) the IT team to get it working with the company’s solutions – mainly e-mail of course.
Right now for me it’s a case of deja-vu (which I’ve experienced before, ho ho)… in the early days of the iPhone, and sporadically ever since, I received numerous e-mails from excited IBMers asking how they can get their iPhone connected to the Domino e-mail infrastructure (I’ve checked my job description, there’s no mention of this responsibility). Now I’m seeing the same with iPad owners. Our official mobile e-mail solution in IBM UK is the BlackBerry but Traveler is starting to gain a foothold, mainly due to the Apple devices.
The article does a good job of pointing out the major advantages of the BlackBerry solution… and solution is the right word. I’ve heard people say that Blackberries are expensive to own, but the infrastructure does provide what an enterprise needs with little or no requirements to add extras in order to make it enterprise-grade and extremely secure.
Since the article was written the iPhone 4 has been announced and I’m sure this will put more pressure on RIM and the other device providers. Consumers will lap it up, and IT departments may groan as expectant iPad / iPhone owners crave to get connected. Whether that trend gets traction in the enterprise space is yet to be seen, but one thing is for sure – consumerisation and end-user-power grows stronger every year.