Corporate IT Can’t Afford to Ignore Apple Any Longer
If you said “the company cell phone” a few years back, you were, in all likelihood, talking about a BlackBerry. But no longer. In fact, with the incredible rise in popularity of the iPhone and iPad, Apple — a company once considered an enterprise outsider — has become, almost overnight, it seems, the go-to smartphone and tablet maker among Fortune 500 companies.
And yet IT teams have largely dragged their feet when it comes to preparing their company mobile strategy to handle this influx of employees’ personal Apple phones. Yet Apple’s growing march toward cell phone ubiquity shows little sign of slowing.
In fact, in a survey of its enterprise clientele — including many of the top financial and healthcare organizations in the country — Good Technology analysts found the iPhone 4S accounted for 37 percent of all mobile devices activated in the first quarter of 2012. Not surprisingly, the iPad continued to dominate the tablet computer market, generating over 97 percent of all enterprise activations over the same period.
ZDNet’s Ken Hess, in an article synthesizing research from Gartner, Barclays, Deloitte, Forbes, and Goldman-Sachs showing Apple’s incredible success, noted that while most IT departments have strived for “device-agnostic” management in bring-your-own-device security, it’s high time that those teams start supporting Apple products.
“When half your market is Apple, you can’t ignore its existence to simply prove a point or to take a stand for open source operating systems. Either you’re in it for your customers or you’re not,” Hess wrote.
With personal mobile devices finding their way onto company networks one way or another, getting out ahead of this trend before it compromises security and compliance plans is imperative.
Datamation columnist Jeff Vance pointed out in a recent article that, given the fact that employees are increasingly taking their personal devices outside the company firewall, it’s become essential that IT departments arm themselves with a few risk-management tools like remote wiping capability. Some software can even marge security and wireless expense management simultaneously. With high-powered 4G iPads expected continue gaining prevalence in the coming months and years, regulating how employees are utilizing bandwidth and data could help IT get out in front of some serious phone bills.
Image used under Creative Commons by Flickr user Yagan Kiely.