RIM's Struggles: 10 Reasons the Enterprise Is Backing Away From BlackBerry

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.

Research 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.

So, what happened? Andwhy is the enterprise suddenly resisting the purchase of RIM devices when 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 away entirely.

Read 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

For 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

Last 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 the enterprise.

3. Tumult at RIM

If 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 months. 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

RIM's 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.

Don Reisinger

Don Reisinger

Don Reisinger is a longtime freelance contributor to several technology and business publications. Over his career, Don has written about everything from geek-friendly gadgetry to issues of privacy...