Who are the

By David Morgenstern  |  Posted 2007-06-22 Print this article Print

bad" users"?> The issue with the iPhone in the enterprise wont be one of deployment. These phones will be purchased by the users and then given a show-and-tell to the IT department. At ITXpo, Gartner broke down these "rogue," or "maverick," users—those who refuse to use the standard issue equipment—into different categories.
First, there are C-level executives who have enough moxie to break the IT rules. Gartner said that, by the end of 2008, 50 percent of C-level execs will do most of their work on a "nonstandard" PC.
The next group is the "key knowledge workers," who are allowed more flexibility because the IT department can trust that these power users will take care of security and other support issues on their own. The final category is made up of users who need something special for work, a more powerful machine than the standard issue or even a different platform, such as a Macintosh. For example, even in the most PC of organizations there are often some Macs down in the marketing department or wherever content is created and managed. Of course, Gartner wasnt talking about Macs. Instead, a nonstandard PC means a Windows machine that is outside the control and even ownership of IT. Its used both for work and personal computing. Users want certain applications and capabilities for their computing environment that fall outside the corporate standard or budget. But as Ive pointed out in past columns, switchers to the Macintosh in the C-level suites are joining the longstanding holdouts down in the art department. And even members of the technical knowledge worker set are coming over to the Mac in the enterprise. Is the Mac making a stealth entry into the enterprise? Some sites say its so. Click here to read more. Another worry of enterprise IT managers may be that the iPhone will expand on the iPods "halo effect" for the Macintosh. Paul Camillos, partner at consultancy Ephemeral Technologies in Sydney, Australia, said some of his clients have already warned of increased Mac interest from the iPhone hype. "One IT manager I know said that there was no way that he would allow a Mac into his environment," he said. "Hed rather quit and said he would lobby strongly to all management against the introduction of the iPhone in case it acted as a precursor to management wanting Macs." Well, the iPhone wont hit Australia until the end of the year, so this guy will have a bit of a breather. However, he may want to start brushing up his resume if hes going to take this "no iPhone and Mac or I quit" stance. Yes, the Mac is more secure than Windows. Click here to read more. The Mac has been infiltrating itself into the enterprise, one MacBook Pro at a time. The iPhone will be another vanguard for Apple. Meanwhile, the flurry this week of FUD around the iPhone put a smile on my face—particularly the concerns about its price and carrier. For example, in an IDC survey 60 percent of respondents said they were interested in the iPhone, but only 10 percent were interested in paying full price. In a press release on the data, analyst Shiv Bakhshi, director of mobility research at IDC, said: "Despite all the hype, there is little clarity on Apples (and AT&Ts) service plans for the device. This lack of clarity could adversely impact consumers purchase decisions." Come on, since when has price been a concern for early adopters or, more importantly in this case, anyone wanting the coolest new thing on the market? And this phone looks way cool. We will all see if it can meet its hype. Actually, as technology introductions go, the iPhone isnt that expensive. The same argument was made about the first iPods, and look where that went. And this phone is eye candy of the highest order; owners will suddenly have a lot of new friends—everyone will want to play with it. Thousands of IT organizations will be approached in the next couple of weeks by thousands of executives and will be asked to "make it work." That number will grow over the summer and into the fall. My bet is that most IT managers will find that the iPhone FUD was overplayed and that support wont be so tough. What do you think? Is the iPhone a nightmare or just another days work? Let us know here. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news in desktop and notebook computing.

David Morgenstern is Executive Editor/Special Projects of eWEEK. Previously, he served as the news editor of Ziff Davis Internet and editor for Ziff Davis' Storage Supersite.

In 'the days,' he was an award-winning editor with the heralded MacWEEK newsweekly as well as eMediaweekly, a trade publication for managers of professional digital content creation.

David has also worked on the vendor side of the industry, including companies offering professional displays and color-calibration technology, and Internet video.

He can be reached here.


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