Erik Eckel explains how Apple is affecting the BYOD policy trend and ensuring that it is here to stay in the enterprise.
Apple sells an astounding number of iPhones and iPads. The numbers are impressive and just keep growing:
- During the first weekend iPhone 5s were on sale some five million units sold.
- Three million iPads sold in just three days following the new iPad Mini announcement.
- Some 26.9 million iPhones sold in Q4 2012.
- 14 million iPads sold during Q4 2012.
- Already impressive iPhone sales are up 58 percent.
- iPad sales are up 26 percent.
The popularity of Apple iPhones and iPads is changing the way enterprise organizations work. BYOD (bring your own device) is likely the year's hottest acronym. And let's be honest. The reason enterprise organizations are scrambling to define and document BYOD information technology policies, and the reason BYOD policies have become such news, is because organizations have lost the battle trying to keep the devices out. Further, as the previous statistics demonstrate, when the devices join the network, they are frequently Apple iPhones and iPads.
Effective one-two punch
Just a few years ago, tablet computer sales were essentially dead in the water. Netbooks were all the rage. Then Apple, in one swift product launch, resurrected the entire tablet segment and almost single-handedly returned tablets to relevance with the introduction of the original iPad.
Smartphones, of course, already possessed momentum. Apple's iPhone proved popular from the start. But as Apple refined the product, and as Exchange integration proved simple and reliable, Research in Motion (RIM) began paying the price. Its once-leading BlackBerry (and associated BlackBerry Enterprise Server) began slipping in favor, and RIM proved unable to find a buyer in 2012, although Amazon, Microsoft and Nokia were mentioned as potential suitors.
Ultimately, Apple's already landed the knockout punch. You can't argue with the statistics above. Nor can you argue with the resulting BYOD policy scramble underway or now completed at most enterprise organizations (a search of BYOD on Google turns up millions of results from just the past year alone).
Together iPhone sales momentum, combined with iPad adoption, changed the way enterprise IT departments accommodate, allow, and support mobile devices. Business owners, directors, and staff simply insisted organizations let them use their devices, often purchased personally, to access the Internet, connect to mailboxes, synchronize calendars, track contacts and more.
Policy proves proper compromise
Hence the fuss over BYOD policies. In the end, such policies are an effective compromise. With the introduction of a well-considered BYOD policy, organizations can help ensure they're properly protected when enabling support and flexibility for an ever-stressed workforce, just as the workforce demands.