Mobile Devices Part 1: Are You a Betting Decision Maker?
More than a decade ago, Microsoft Windows became the best and safest bet for a client operating system. The old "nobody ever got fired for buying IBM" sort of transformed into "nobody ever got fired for putting Windows on the desktop." Today, despite the availability of alternatives, Windows is still the best bet for most business desktops. Yes, we'll probably always have a little Mac or Linux or something running around on the sidelines, but for most organizations there's little downside in not having a homogenous desktop environment.
Not so with mobile devices. Sure, Blackberry remains a popular choice for businesses -- but the company's future is far from assured. The growing consumerization of the mobile device marketplace means that users aren't always satisfied with Blackberry's offerings, and they're increasingly wanting to bring their own smartphones onto the network. Some organizations are evaluating Android handsets, iPhone models, and Windows Phone 7 units to see which one they want to adopt.
That's a mistake.
You can't afford to adopt and support just one. Unfortunately, no matter what you think of any of these devices, the smartphone industry is the furthest thing from stable. Patent wars, hardware fragmentation, a volatile developer market -- everything's playing against a decision maker's instinct to make a decision. Today's "perfect" business smartphone could be tomorrow's lawsuit victim, forcing you to abandon your "corporate standard" phone.
Right now, smartphones are a lot like your investment portfolio: You need diversity. Yes, that will cost more to manage, but it's what's best for your business. Look at a variety of devices, and look for cross-platform management tools that will help make managing them easier and more efficient.
I'm curious, what devices does your organization permit? Are any of them "officially" supported, as opposed to being "unofficially tolerated?" Is your organization trying to standardize on a single platform -- and does all the volatility in this marketplace worry you?
Share your thoughts in the comment section below or reach me at ConcentratedTech.com.
- Read more of Don Jones' Mobile Device blog series:
Posted by Don Jones on 10/07/2011 at 1:14 PM