For the time being, Lam says the consumerization of IT appears irreversible. The continued decline of BlackBerry, whose subscribers "dropped off a cliff" in the second quarter, and the meteoric rise of Android is evidence that the traditional corporate mobile model is a thing of the past, Lam says.
"Within the framework of enterprise purchasing, I think it is hard to put the genie back in the bottle," Lam says. "Once you start down this path where you can bring in something other than BlackBerry, and there are more compelling platforms and devices out there, it's kind of hard to say 'everybody back to the way it was.'"
While the enterprise cannot return to the days of corporate-driven enterprise mobility, Microsoft and its carrier partners might benefit from trying to do so in the sales process. Llamas pointed to the Lumia 900, which he says is a strong consumer smartphone with an interface and user experience that are comparable to those of the iPhone or many Android devices. But because of its shortcomings, namely the number and quality of applications available for Windows Phone, Llamas says consumers will need to be made aware of its benefits as a tool in the workplace just as well.
"What really needs to happen on the other side is that salespeople at AT&T or Verizon or wherever, they've got to be able to tell that story too. Instead of just saying 'here, let me get you outfitted with the latest smartphone,' go down the road of asking 'do you plan on using this for work?'" Llamas says. "Most consumers will respond rather positively to that because it takes the onus and the actual legwork off of them to go back and have all these actual questions answered."
This is a result of the BYOD trend that may be forcing a shift in the relationship between vendors and customers. In the past, when end users were handed corporate BlackBerry phones, "there was really nothing to worry about," Llamas says. The BlackBerry was used for work and little was questioned because few alternatives were available.
Now that smartphone users have found that consumer devices can be also used for work, vendors will need to show them how they can improve upon that enterprise experience, Llamas says. Windows Phone, as a "hybrid" between Android and BlackBerry, will need to be sold to a different market than its competitors simply because BYOD has changed many smartphone customers' expectations, Llamas says.