Consumerization of IT Is Outflanking the BlackBerry

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2012-01-30 Print this article Print

  5. Consumerization is a factor

Oftentimes, when the issues of BlackBerry adoption are brought up, consumerization is left out. But in 2012, it will prove to be a major concern for RIM. Consumerization is bringing devices like the iPhone and Android handsets into the enterprise, and there isn't anything RIM can do about it.

6. Productivity is what it's all about

At the end of the day, productivity means more to companies than anything else. Although the BlackBerry has historically been a productivity powerhouse, it's being beaten by the iPhone because of employee familiarity with that device. Businesspeople have the iPhone in their daily lives now, which they bought for personal or business use. They know which apps are best to use and are comfortable with the touch display. What's more, iOS delivers far better application and browser support. From a productivity perspective, it's hard for enterprises and their employees to choose a BlackBerry over an iPhone.

7. App development

Although application discussions typically revolve around marketplaces where users can download programs, in the enterprise, it's much different. For corporate customers, having the ability to develop proprietary applications designed for internal use is extremely important. Luckily for those folks, Apple's software development kit is ideal for that, and its software affords companies many more opportunities. Although RIM offers a development kit, it pales in comparison to Apple's. And that's a real problem for the BlackBerry maker.

8. Apple is making a push

When Apple first launched the iPhone, the company didn't seem all that concerned with appealing to enterprise users. But over the last couple years, as more features have been added to iOS, that has changed. Apple is now heavily engaged in attracting enterprise customers. And so far, it appears that effort is working quite effectively.

9. RIM was once the only show in town

Back before the iPhone launched, RIM's BlackBerry devices were the only enterprise-focused handsets that companies wanted. Compared to all the others, the BlackBerry was far superior. But nowadays, RIM has stiff competition, and the company has been unable to come up with new features or services to stay ahead of the latest smartphones. RIM was once the only show in town that mattered; now, it's lost in the crowd.

10. RIM seems less committed

There was a time when RIM cared only about the enterprise. But as the BlackBerry PlayBook showed, the mobile firm seems far more committed than ever to appealing to consumers as well. For IT decision-makers, that's a real issue. Today's CIOs want companies that care about their needs and don't try to be two things to two different market segments. RIM would be far more successful if it focused solely on enterprise users. But it doesn't. And it's losing ground because of that.

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Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at

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