The consumerization of IT and BYOD (bring your own devices) is here its been on its way for sometime but now its here and IT have to deal with this fact.
Smartphones and tablets are now a part of everyday life whether your an apple evangelist or android fanatic or even windows phone friendly they all far outway the abilities of phones or even desktops from just a few years ago. They are the true plug and play devices of the consumers world. In addition to technology people’s attitude towards telecommuting and working away from the office is also changing. Just a few years ago working remotely to most people meant being handed a blackberry for email and sent on your way with the url of the Citrix farm. Now things are completely different.
Has anyone got or used a blackberry recently, blackberry’s are still widespread in the enterprise but they are quickly being replaced with smart phone/tablet devices. What is the reason for this, well if you have used one recently what did you use it for I bet it was either making a phone call or checking your email. Browsing the web with one is tedious at best their app store is very limited and the design of most devices makes any kind of remote desktop / vdi impossible unless you have the patience of a saint and the eyes of a hawk.
What about sysadmin management, at least you would need a besx server and another windows licence to purchase and dear lord do not touch the version of java installed on the server unless you like you blackberry users phoning you.
Consumers/staff now have a vast array of plug n play technology in their hand bag or trouser pockets, if you want your phone to do something that’s not in its initial design then there’s more than likely an app for that (as they say), which is more than likely free or low cost and will require little technical knowledge to get it working.
So back to my point in question blackberry have fallen way behind and have made very little if any progress in the last few years coupled with their recent large scale outages blackberry in my opinion are doomed. Consumers are used to pretty interfaces and intuitive design now, if you mentally put your favourite smart phone ui next to the usual blackberry one the winning argument is plain to see. Whilst blackberry management and security is still far more granular than smartphones and tablets there are very good options for an IT department to deploy in order to mitigate risk if the activesync policies and features are not enough.
I see many companies migrating away from blackerry and alot of comments from sysadmins saying they cannot wait to get the last blackberry off their system so they can decommision the server. Are smartphones really less secure than blackberry’s, possibly but in todays world it can be mitigated and is mostly a moot point. IT must now adopt a different approach its not “how can I secure the remote device” anymore it should be “how can I secure my application against a remote device” which is true whether you are talking about vdi/virtualization or teleworking.
RIM were unable/unwilling or just didn’t see that the market is moving on, so I am quite convinced that as a company they will not survive because of the consumerization of IT.
Author: Dale Scriven