Influential analyst firm Forrester Research deemed the iPhone unfit for corporate workplaces in late 2007. Lack of encryption for confidential data, lack of Microsoft Exchange support for calendars and email, and a lack of applications for the phone were tops on analyst Benjamin Gray's "Top 10" list of iPhone shortcomings as workplace IT gadgets. A stolen iPhone could be a major security breach, Gray warned.
Now, Forrester analyst Ted Schadler has issued a whole new take on the iPhone. Citing large-scale adoption at Oracle, Kraft Foods, and Amylin Pharmaceutical, Schadler deems the iPhone a boon to these companies' bottom lines.
Schadler's reasons for the switch:
* The iPhone now works with Microsoft Exchange.
* The Safari browser and iPhone mail application are comparable to netbooks in quality.
* iPhone 3.0 software due this summer will have better support for VPNs and workplace security, such as disabling the camera and creating encrypted backups.
* Employees often buy their own iPhone, rather than waiting for the IT department to issue one to them. Individual phone ownership lowers company costs. Plus, Schadler says, it makes employees more careful: "If an employee owns his own device, the phone tends to hit the pavement a lot less"
"We find the BlackBerry better for email and calendaring and the iPhone better for everything else," Schadler wrote. Because smartphone use is moving beyond email and schedules to Web access and productivity applications such as Taxi Magic, Schadler thinks the BlackBerry's advantages have become less important.
Perhaps most importantly, Schadler claims iPhone buyers who don't use a company-issued handset simply seem to be happier.
This story, "Analysts Give Apple iPhone the Enterprise Nod" was originally published by thestandard.com.