BYOD: businesses embracing Apple iPhone, shunning BlackBerry

By Danny Palmer
24 Apr 2014 View Comments

Apple's iPhone and iPad are the most likely devices to be chosen for business use, while organisations are most likely to avoid BlackBerry when looking to fulfil their mobility needs.

That's according to research by Computing, which surveyed hundreds of IT professionals about preferences when it comes to deploying mobile devices for business use.

Further reading

The figures were revealed during a Computing web seminar titled Mobility: Should you standardise on one platform, or allow unlimited BYOD?

When asked the question ‘Which would be the technology ecosystem(s) you would be more likely to choose for mobile devices for business use?' 58 per cent said Apple would be on their shortlist.

Next most popular were devices running the Microsoft Windows operating system at 41 per cent. Google Android devices came in third place, with 37 per cent saying they would be comfortable offering employees devices such as the Samsung Galaxy.

BlackBerry, once the number one choice for mobile device use in the enterprise, was the least popular ecosystem among those polled, with just 25 per cent suggesting they'd select it for business use.


BYOD fig 1

[Click on image to enlarge]

Computing also asked IT professionals the question ‘If you had to choose one, which of these ecosystems would you NOT choose for mobile devices for business use?' and the results make further grim reading for BlackBerry.

Forty per cent of those surveyed said they wouldn't choose BlackBerry as a device for business use, almost twice as many as those (22 per cent) who would eliminate Android from their shortlist, while 20 per cent indicated they wouldn't offer staff an Apple iPhone. Just 18 per cent said they'd avoid providing employees with a Microsoft Windows mobile device.

BYOD-fig2 [Click on image to enlarge]

Speaking during the Computing web seminar on BYOD, Alan Shields, strategy and architecture team leader and BYOD project lead for Cambridgeshire County Council, indicated that his public sector employees use Apple iPhones, because security on Android devices is seen as an issue.

"We've moved towards the Apple platform. The reason being that security is still an issue with Android, it being an open source product, and therefore security issues are more prevalent with that in terms of the operating system and apps - the Google Play Store has had problems," he said.

Shields also suggested the fragmented nature of Android meant that devices running the Google operating system are more difficult to manage, and that Apple's closed system - with the same version of its operating system installed across all its devices - is easier to control, an important factor in the public sector.

"You can have different flavours of Android, the experiences of which will be different. But if I buy 100 iPads I know they'll all have the same capabilities. That sort of commonality is very important," he told the panel.

Shields said that Apple's iOS might not be the best environment for every organisation, but encouraged IT departments not to be afraid of making a decision to standardise their mobility strategy on a single type of device, because even if it turns out to be the wrong decision, it at least takes the organisation closer to discovering what the right choice is.

"I'm not saying it's the right or wrong answer," he said of Apple, "but the answer is to be brave and pick one and see if it works. It could be a mistake but this is better than not picking anything and being totally constrained over not making a decision, and suffering a planning blight.

"But be prepared to fail. In the IT industry we don't see failure as a positive thing, but it can be," Shields added.

Computing's Enterprise Mobility Summit takes place on 12th June 2014. The event is free for senior IT professionals. Register here.

A few months ago, Computing go together to compare and contrast a raft of mobile devices, in the video below.

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