1. Make the mental switch from mobile messaging to mobile apps Many organizations have already opened up to iOS and, to a lesser extent, Android. For example, at furniture retailer Holly Hunt, a BlackBerry is considered the bare minimum for mobile users because it's designed for email and messaging, not so much for running apps and accessing the Web as iOS and Android devices can do very effectively. At Holly Hunt, the BlackBerry is no longer the preferred device, despite its long history with the company, notes says Neil Goodrich, director of business analytics and technology.
Schumacher Group, a provider of emergency room management services, is taking an even stronger line: It will move from BlackBerrys to iPhones once iOS 6 comes out this fall, says CIO Doug Menefee.
The move from BlackBerry represents a shift in enterprise mobile computing from predominantly email to enterprise business applications, says Vishal Jain, a mobile services analyst at 451 Research. For example, "mobile computing is getting closer to opening up ERP systems, which were traditionally accessed through desktops," Jain says. The BlackBerry simply isn't designed for app usage; by clinging to it, companies are held back from heading in the direction of computing.
2. Develop and enforce a mobile policy When research firm Aberdeen Group surveyed 239 U.S. companies about their mobile device strategies this spring, researchers were particularly disturbed that 43% of the respondents permitted their employees to use mobile devices that don't comply with the company's mobile policy.
Additionally, many companies don't have mobile policies that reflect the app-centric and Web-centric reality of iOS and Android. With the increased adoption of bring-your-own-device and choose-your-own-device approaches, it's now paramount to have those policies in place. That way, users know what they're permitted to do and how they're expected to safeguard company information, says Andrew Borg, an Aberdeen research director for mobile.
It's baffling that companies would create a mobile device policy and not enforce it, but it's clearly a common occurrence. That has to change, Borg says.
3. Use the many tools available for securing iOS and Android For several years, the mantra among many in IT is that only the BlackBerry could provide sufficient security and management capability needed for sensitive information, especially in heavily regulated information-centric industries such as law, financial services, health care, and aerospace/defense.