A good way to determine how smartphone use is picking up in the corporate workplace is to look at the uptick in software purchased to manage mobile devices.
Good Technology, which competes with Research In Motion as a maker of software for securing and managing e-mail on mobile devices, said it has tacked on more than 1,500 enterprise deployments since it began supporting Apple's iPhone and Google Android smartphones in December.
For Good, whose customers include Intel, Starbucks and Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), that's an install base boost of 43 percent.
The company now has some 4,000 customers thanks to the momentum of iPhone and Android, which John Herrema, head of product management and strategy for Good, described to eWEEK as "meteoric."
Twenty percent of those 1,500 new deployments are running three or more platforms, including any combination of iPhone, Android, Windows Mobile, Palm OS or Symbian devices.
While Herrema wouldn't offer exactly how many of those customers were using Good to support Android or iPhone, he did say that of the 1,500-plus enterprises that have deployed Good for Enterprise to support iPhone and/or Android devices:
48 percent are using it to support both Android and iPhone or other iOS4 devices, such as Apple's iPad and iPod Touch.
34 percent are supporting iPhone or other iOS4 devices, but are not yet supporting Android devices.
18 percent are supporting Android devices, but are not yet supporting iPhone or other iOS devices.
How are corporations glomming onto the iPhone and Android so fast? As is usually the case, consumers are driving this adoption.
Herrema said consumers are buying iPhone devices or Android phones such as the Motorola Droid, HTC Droid Incredible or HTC Evo 4G and using them for work as well as personal use.
This is forcing IT departments to procure technologies such as Good for Enterprise to satisfy corporate security requirements, something Forrester Research said it expects to see more of for the iPhone and iPad.
This trend points to the slow demise of corporate road warriors relying on handsets provided by companies alone.
Also, barring any serious security practices in government agencies, global banks and other financial services firms, it makes no sense for users to carry two communications devices.
So consumers are buying their own handsets and using them, and a good deal of consumers are buying iPhones or Android smartphones, according to Good.
That conclusion certainly dovetails with findings from both Nielsen and the NPD Group, which said Apple's iPhone and Android smartphones are selling well.