NEWS ANALYSIS: The enterprise is starting to turn its back on Research In Motion and its BlackBerry smartphones. And there isn't much the mobile company can do about it.
In Motion has been going through an exceedingly difficult time over the last
several months. Its mobile market share is dwindling; its former co-CEOs Mike
Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie nearly ran the company into the ground; and it
brought in a new CEO to help turn things around. All the while, it has watched
its core market-the enterprise-start to slip away as an increasing number of
companies back away from BlackBerry smartphones and turn to iPhones, iPads and,
even in some cases, Android handsets.
what happened? And
why is the enterprise suddenly resisting the purchase of RIM devices
over the years it had a dramatically different view on things? Unfortunately
for RIM, the reasons are numerous. By the look of things, the company doesn't
have a plan in place to address them all before the enterprise market slips
on to find out why the enterprise is turning its back on RIM and BlackBerry
devices. And why the company's new CEO Thorsten Heins doesn't seem prepared to
address those troubles.
1. Security is no longer the chief concern
a long time, security was the main reason enterprise customers stuck with the
BlackBerry. They reasoned that RIM's services, including built-in data
encryption, would keep their networks secure, and that made them reluctant to
switch. However, Apple's iOS platform has proved extremely secure, making RIM's
argument that it's the only company offering secure mobile services to
enterprise users a bit harder to believe.
2. Outages matter
year, RIM suffered a multiday outage of its email and messaging services. The
mistake was enough for many enterprise IT decision-makers to wonder if the
BlackBerry maker could be trusted. Email and messaging is an essential business
application, and it has to be available 24/7. Even a single instance of
downtime is enough to damage the credibility of a mobile application service in
3. Tumult at RIM
the enterprise can't stand anything, it's uncertainty. And at RIM right now
there is an awful lot of uncertainty.
Companies aren't sure what Heins will do to turn things around in the coming
. There is also the question of whether RIM will be bought out. It's
a real issue. And it's something that's pushing some companies to vendors that
have a more stable corporate environment right now.
4. Pricing is a concern
BlackBerry devices aren't exactly the cheapest handsets on the market. In fact,
there are many cases in which companies can find a better deal on Android-based
handsets than on their BlackBerry counterparts. Over the years, that didn't
matter much, since RIM's devices were the best. But now, with more appealing
devices available and tight budgets, it matters quite a bit.