August 29, 2011, 12:28 PM — All of a sudden, many organizations are finding their employees are no longer accepting the corporate-issued BlackBerry as their only mobile option. Even when that is the single formal option, more and more employees are using their own smartphones -- iPhones, Androids, whatever -- for business purposes. With Nielsen projecting that half of all U.S. cell phones sold will be smartphones by 2012, the tide is unstoppable.
At the same time, more and more executives and CIOs have realized that mobile has moved beyond a messaging platform to a multifaceted platform for application, Web, and messaging usage -- which means they're bringing in new generations of devices from Apple, Google's partners, Research in Motion, and others. And now iPads are charging into businesses, no doubt to be followed by Android tablets in 2011.
For IT, that means a whole new world to manage. Different devices have very different capabilities for security and remote management, and the email platform you use also affects how you can secure and manage the mobile devices you let into your organization. Even though Apple has added significant management capabilities to its iOS 4, IT can't just say thanks and call it a day -- there's significant work to be done in determining the appropriate security and management policies, then figuring out how to deploy and enforce them in the new heterogenous world of mobile devices.
To help IT do that, InfoWorld.com has put together a free, 20-page "Mobile Management Deep Dive" PDF special report that explains the innate security capabilities of the key mobile platforms (BlackBerry, iOS, Android, Symbian, Windows Mobile, Windows Phone 7, and WebOS), surveys the major mobile device management vendors' main areas of focus, explains how to embrace the "bring your own device" movement without compromising enterprise needs, and provides a set of recommended policies to use as a starting point for creating your own. The report also compares the free and paid version of RIM's BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES).