By Maria Bruno-Britz
Unless you've been living under a rock for the past month, you were among the millions of people to hear about the launch of Apple's iPhone. The handy little device is designed to serve all your on-the-go music playing, Web browsing and movie playing needs. Oh, and it's a phone too, so you can actually make calls and you have your address book/contact functions thrown in there as well. I know there are other features, but this editorial can only be so long!My husband loves all things Apple, so you can imagine how much he has been haranguing me about getting an iPhone. Sorry, but the $500 price tag and the fact that I have to use AT&T/Cingular as my provider are two big turn-offs for me. That said, I had the opportunity to try a demo at the local Apple Store and must admit it is a very elegant device. I can definitely see the mass market appeal.
But what about the iPhone for the business user? Well, if you work for a company that handles confidential information or technology, the fact that the iPhone has a camera is one strike against its use in the office. Other drawbacks to the device, as stated in research by Gartner, include lack of support from major mobile management and security suites, lack of support from major mobile business e-mail solutions providers and the fact that the iPhone is a relatively unproven device from a company that doesn't focus on the enterprise as its core market.
Gartner does state that such functionality may appear on the scene at some point, however. Whether companies' IT departments will be pleased by this news is another story!
I suppose the issues with the iPhone are the same ones that crop up around any new technology in the consumer space: what will be involved in porting the device over to an enterprise environment; how practical can the device be for business functions; how can the new device enhance corporate operations; and just how seriously does the new device address security issues?
One thing seems certain: the iPhone is something that IT departments will be faced with in the near future, so they might want to start thinking now about ways in which to properly fit the device into the enterprise infrastructure.