CIOs losing faith in BlackBerry

By Danny Palmer
29 May 2014 View Comments

BlackBerry smartphones are becoming less popular within enterprises, with two CIOs revealing to Computing that their organisations have recently dumped the Canadian firm's devices for Apple's iPhone.

The manner in which BlackBerry is struggling to keep up with rivals Apple and Samsung is causing a vicious circle of despair, one in which BlackBerry customers are opting to jump ship from a company that they believe to be in decline.

"We'll shortly be moving away from BlackBerry and going to iPhones throughout the entire organisation," Paul Mease, head of IT at Unite the Union told Computing. The reasons, he explained, were the current state of BlackBerry as a company and dissatisfaction with its current products.

"Everyone is aware about the situation at BlackBerry and their financial issues. The latest devices that have come out from BlackBerry and their cost doesn't warrant us continuing with them."

Mease also said the cost of using BlackBerry smartphones was too high and that by moving to iPhone, the union – which is funded through membership fees – will make significant savings.

"The cost for the monthly rental charge for BlackBerry is too high. So we'll be moving to iPhones in the entire organisation, saving around 30 to 40 per cent on a monthly basis and we'll be doing it at zero cost to the trade union," he said.

Bill Peters, head of group IT at the Formula 1 team and sports car producer Caterham Group, also told Computing that BlackBerry's declining market share was a driver in the team's decision to dump its devices in favour of Apple iPhones.

"We recently moved away from BlackBerry for obvious reasons, so we're primarily on iPhones at the moment because it gives us the most secure mobile platform," he said, adding that Google Android wasn't selected because the OS is "inherently insecure because there's a huge amount of variation in terms of the versions that are out there".

Peters also described how Caterham trialled Z10 and Q10 smartphones – the devices BlackBerry was relying on to once again become a big player – but were unimpressed with what they saw.

"We did implement a trial with BB10 with Q10s and Z10s. I'll say nothing about the Z10s because they just didn't work. However, the Q10s, we still have some out there but there are issues around them," he said, before suggesting lack of MDM support for BlackBerry is also an issue.

"The problem is the mobile device management tool, BES10, isn't as good as other alternatives, so you can't manage those devices as well and the MDM suppliers aren't even bothering to develop for it, so it's difficult to manage."

But despite choosing iPhones for now, Peters told Computing that he sees Windows phones as having huge potential to be the mobile device of choice in future, citing the ease of which it would fit into the rest of the IT ecosystem.

"We're keen to see what happens with the latest Windows phones. I think Windows has got a huge opportunity to become the device of choice if it's properly secured," he said.

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