In my top predictions for 2011 blog last week, I predicted iPads will overrun the enterprise. One reason is that people just think they are cool so they’ll “want” one. I also predict a measureable segment of these people in the enterprise will end up just putting them in their filing cabinet. Next week I will explore that a bit. But that’s for next week.
But another reason I said that is because iPhones are overrunning the enterprise so people are getting used to them, and if they get used to them, then they’ll be more apt to use iPads. In fact, in the last Apple earnings statement, Apple said that “adoption of iPhone within the enterprise continues to accelerate. 80% of Fortune 500 companies are developing or piloting” with the iPhone.
Well, that could mean anything since in my company, I know that about 10 people have iPhones. It doesn’t mean en masse we’re going to turn in our Blackberries. But I do see people who swore by Blackberries now exclusively using iPhones. Clearly there is something there.
While the iPhone to me has some similarity to the entrance of Blackberries to the corporate world in that many IT organizations only supported Blackberries when they got “pushed” to do so because the CEO wanted one, it is different now since the iPhone is a different use case than the Blackberry. The Blackberry is pretty much an exclusive office tool, since it’s core value prop is about email. The iPhone, or for that matter Android’s, core value is internet access for social networking, YouTube viewing, etc. So employees get one since they want one for personal usage. And since they have that one, and don’t want to also carry around the authorized office mobility tool, they want to make sure it’s connected to the office.
Many people are even willing to buy their desired mobility device, but just want the IT department to make sure it connects. In fact, in Dialogic, I probably had the first employee on my team in Dialogic who used an iPhone - he had bought it with his own money and simply wanted it connected to the network, and rejected the Dialogic supplied Blackberry. It was not simple, but it happened. And I’m sure this is not unique.
My point is that if you’re an IT manager, and you see the onslaught of cool devices out there, and if you haven’t figured it out already, you have lost control…and if you haven’t yet, it might just start when you return from your holidays since a good percentage of your employees may have gotten one of these things 3 days ago.