Nov 172009

I have been asked many times about iPhones from the CIOs in the group.  Over the past few weeks, I have sat in on several conference calls with clients who are being pressured by execs to open up their infrastructures to iPhone access.

My opinion on this parallels with what one of my favorite analyst organizations – Burton Group – is saying on the subject.

Is iPhone Ready for the Enterprise? Part 1:   The iPhone has been called a major advancement in mobile technology for the mass consumer market, but does the iPhone have a place in the Enterprise?

Is iPhone Ready for the Enterprise? Part 2:   In this Burton Group panel discussion Jamie Lewis, CEO and Research Chair of Burton Group, will lead a discussion of the iPhone and its place in the Enterprise.

There is no point getting upset about this because Apple never said iPhones were meant as an Enterprise product.  They were meant to be sold to the masses which large numbers of ubiquitous and unfettered access to applications that they control in the cloud.

The blend between work and life is upon us and the cool social toys are pressuring businesses to respond and react. Kids that are being hired over the next 1-3 years may ask to have emails delivered to their smartphones, however, and this is a big however; the Apple iPhone like Social Media Applications (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedI) will find their way into the Enterprise.   It is just going to happen.  One can only manage the pace of enterprise adoption at this point.

Why is the iPhone not ready for the Enterprise?
Although data transport is encrypted, data on the device is not!  These devices are managed by iTunes not by a Enterprise ready software suite like the BES (Blackberry Enterprise Server).  ‘Push’ email support is not in place yet.

Many of the financial institutions, health care, or general public companies that I talk with have some regulatory oversight.  Security, privacy and the breach of private data is a major concern with all of them.  At this point, I don’t see how iPhones are going to enhance the privacy and security posture of organizations.

My advice – users need to carry two phones. One for work and one for play.

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