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August 30, 2007

iPhone: are organizations ready?

The major challenges that mobile devices such as the iPhone cause enterprises are in the areas of security, management, control, cost and heterogeneity. If IT organizations do not provide an appropriate security and management infrastructure, there is a risk that unapproved devices could compromise corporate information.

By CBR Staff Writer

Apple’s iPhone will be launching in Europe in autumn 2007.

The adoption of such devices by employees tends to be in many instances user-driven as features such as ease-of-use, better screens, email, calendars, and contacts provide greater convenience, and can motivate the workforce to use the new device for corporate use.

In recent times, both personal digital assistants (PDAs) and smartphones have greatly increased the functionality and capabilities offered, and the distinctions between them have narrowed significantly. With differing degrees of success, many PDAs and smartphones now offer an extensive range of features that can be used to address enterprise requirements, such as better screens, qwerty keypads, choice of connectivity technologies and client applications. The convergence of PDAs and mobile phones is set to continue, and could well be boosted by the availability of Apple’s iPhone with its innovative user interface using its touch screen capability.

With remote working becoming more popular, there will be increasing pressure on IT departments to integrate a growing number of different mobile devices with the existing infrastructure. The iPhone could well be another BlackBerry that the IT manager will be compelled to adopt. There is now a need for mobile middleware to provide a foundation on which to base mobile applications capable of handling a number of different types of endpoint and form factor.

From an enterprise perspective, mobile devices will soon be as important a part of the corporate infrastructure as any of the other computing assets. Most organizations do not have the management or technical capabilities sufficient to undertake effective mobile device management. As mobile devices are increasingly used by enterprises for critical application delivery, organizations must ensure that they are managed as capably as other assets. Using a managed service to deliver ‘know-how’ and operational support is one alternative to consider.

Source: OpinionWire by Butler Group (www.butlergroup.com)

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