Back to Black(berry)

This week I took what some would deridingly call a retro step, switching from a state-of-the-art Samsung Android phone to a “plain old” BlackBerry. In doing so, I abandoned all those lovely but ultimately pointless apps that have helped Android surge past Apple’s iPhone in terms of market share so far in 2011. What I gained was a business smartphone that does what I want it to do.

The Android didn’t. And after six months of trying to live with the phone, I cut bait and ordered another BlackBerry – realizing that in my world, the consumerization of technology has gone too far.

Mid-year in 2011 and the state of play today is that organizations are full of employee-owned, trendy consumer devices that simply don’t make the cut in terms of business requirements, let alone enterprise security. As well as the usability issues (essential stuff like the phone module or email randomly not working, and my fat fingers being unable to type or Swype fast or accurately enough on a touch screen), I’d become uneasy about the huge potential security vulnerabilities. Today, Android is not really an enterprise-class platform.

In the second half of 2011, we’re going to see two converging trends land a double-whammy on those consumer devices, underlining that they have their place, but that place is not for business use.

The first – the increasing availability of business-class versions of slate PCs, meaning there is a secure alternative. No room for any more “yes, but…” excuses.

The second – the surge in very carefully targeted spear phishing. After the recent RSA hacking incident, enterprises are starting another round of toughening up their defenses – so it can’t be long before those consumer items are “devices non gratis” within corporate environments.

Anyone for a somewhat used Galaxy S Android phone?

Simon Jones, Managing Director
OnPR, GmbH

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