UPDATED 05:22 EDT / JULY 25 2012

RIM No Longer Dominates BYOD Trend, Apple Makes Serious Gains


Image courtesy of RIM

According to DLA Piper’s CIO Don Jaycox, there’s a huge chance that more lawyers will be shifting to Android or Apple devices for office and personal use by the end of this year.  DLA Piper is among the largest law firms in the world with 77 offices across 31 countries and more than 4200 lawyers.  Jaycox is responsible for approximately 3,500 smartphone users with 80 percent of those using BlackBerry devices, and only 20 percent using Apple or Android touchscreen devices.  But Jaycox sees the number shifting to 50/50 by the end of the year.  Though Jaycox noted that business people still prefer to use BlackBerrys for work and other devices for personal use, some of them are seeing the benefits of using non-BlackBerry devices for both work and personal use.

Companies used to rely on BlackBerrys for work use because of their fast e-mail service but now, they’ve turned to devices that offer more functionality compared to BlackBerrys that only offer utility.  Especially now that the bring-your-own-device to work trend is catching on, companies cannot help that their workers are now using non-BlackBerry devices.

“BYOD is one of the most important directions in enterprise IT, with enormous potential benefits in productivity and cost savings,” Craig Mathias, a principal with the wireless and mobile advisory firm Farpoint Group, said in a prepared statement.

But the problem with BYOD is securing corporate information on every device.  When you use your personal device for work, there’s a huge possibility that you might lose your device or worse, it gets infected with malware and all your work secrets may be siphoned by malicious attackers.  That’s a huge problem especially for large corporations who deals with trade secrets that can make or break their business if those data come out.

“BYOD isn’t just about securing or even managing mobile devices. There are major requirements in consciousness-raising, policy definition and enforcement, and end-to-end solutions that include not just devices, but the enterprise data they increasingly contain,” Mathias added.

Rival OS’s in the enterprise

Though Apple and Google have already infiltrated the workspace with BYOD employees, company IT faces the challenge of keeping up with the demand of maintaining personal devices’ security for work use.  And while BlackBerry is losing market share in its key sector, Apple is demonstrating decided gains, especially on the developer front.

As far as developer interest goes, more app makers are targeting the enterprise with tools for work with a 16 percent point lead ahead of Android.  According to the latest Appcelerator report, developers anticipate iOS as the best positioned to take over the enterprise, with developer interest in iOS at 53 percent and Android at 47 percent.  Apple is coming out the winner, largely due to the iPad’s success in the workspace, as Apple and Android were tied last year at 44 percent each.

Where the consumers go, so go the developers.  And as consumer interests continue to impact the workplace, Apple’s taking advantage of the growing interest in iDevices for the enterprise.  They’ve taken several steps in the past year or so to make their devices more compatible with enterprise networks, which is a good thing: it’s always smart to make friends with the IT department.

And while mobility’s enabled Apple and Android to make serious gains in the enterprise space, it’s Microsoft that stands to lose the most if it doesn’t get involved in the BYOD trend.  Windows 8 is touted as the end-all-be-all solution for cross-platform and cross-device madness, and this well-connected approach is also intended to appeal to the enterprise, where Microsoft’s always had a hefty stake in software sales–for PCs.  While Microsoft is confident in its Windows 8 play, developers are cautiously optimistic, according to the Appcelerator report.

Sixty-eight percent of developers are interested in Windows 8, and find the Metro UI especially compelling.  This could really boost Microsoft’s position in the BYOD enterprise space, eventually making Windows 8 the number two OS for tablets in the workplace.



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