Companies need to get ready for Apple iPhone onslaught

“Apple plans to unveil the iPhone [on June 29]. According to a person close to Apple, the company is expected to fight for this market, currently dominated by players like BlackBerry’s RIM, Palm Inc. and, increasingly, Nokia Corp. and Motorola. If Apple comes up with an acceptable strategy for integrating with business software systems, many companies might change their tunes,” Nick Wingfield and Jessica E. Vascellaro report for The Wall Street Journal.

“Apple’s plan to go after the business market represents a shift for the company, which has never been a strong player in corporate technology. In recent years its focus on the consumer market has accelerated with its products like the iPod and its effort to open a broad network of retail stores,” Wingfield and Vascellaro report.

“The initial plans of many companies to snub the iPhone will likely come as a disappointment to many consumers who are eager to substitute the iPhone for the multiple devices they carry around for music, cellphone and both corporate and personal email services. These users may put pressure on business technology departments to support iPhones even if that means incurring additional expense and changing their policies,” Wingfield and Vascellaro report. “Incompatible technology has become an increasing problem for businesses as hand-held email and phone devices are evolving into minicomputers that can do such things as download music, take pictures and surf the Web.”

MacDailyNews Take: And one device, Apple’s iPhone, is far more evolved than anything else on the market today. The IT dinos will be — gasp! — forced to accommodate the employees; a rarity, we know, but watch and see.

Wingfield and Vascellaro report, “The public’s broad acceptance of the iPod, more than 100 million of which have been sold, has given Apple a hip currency among many professionals, including business travelers for whom iPods are ubiquitous gadgets on the go. That, in turn, could translate into strong demand for the iPhone among business users.”

“Troy Saxton-Getty, vice president of technical operations at St. Bernard Software Inc., a software company based in San Diego, says he currently wants to support only BlackBerrys. The system becomes less reliable when other devices are introduced, he says,” Wingfield and Vascellaro report.

MacDailyNews Take: Then, get a better system.

Wingfield and Vascellaro continue, “But Mr. Saxton-Getty says he is worried that ‘rogue’ employees may figure out ways to route their corporate emails to their iPhone. ‘I am getting a lot of push back, and people saying they are just going to go get it on their own,’ he says, adding that an employee asks him about the iPhone and whether the company will support it about every hour. Jonathan Anderson, who works for St. Bernard Software, says he plans to ditch his new BlackBerry for an iPhone as soon as he can get his hands on one and set it up on his own.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The IT guys are in for a rude awakening and the iPhone is only the beginning. They will have to accommodate the iPhone. Too many important employees will demand it and IT won’t be able to stem the tide. The fact is that business people will decide which device they want to carry and their businesses will adapt to it. Just as they did with “Microsoft-incompatible” Research In Motion’s Blackberry. Apple’s iPhone will be a success with business users whether the IT guy wants it or even whether AT&T and Apple tailor marketing to businesses or not.

Note to CEOs: Who runs the company, you or the IT guy? It’s your job to make the decisions and it’s the IT guy’s job to implement your decisions that relate to technology. Just as with Macs, you need to educate yourself instead of relying on someone with their own, possibly hidden, agendas to make extremely important technology decisions for your company. Most of you could be saving a LOT of money right now, but you aren’t because you’ve delegated an important part of your company’s decision-making to people who, frankly, in our experience, aren’t capable of making good, sound, strategic, long-term decisions. Most IT guys (and we know many) are not open-minded enough to be able to consider new, better, more efficient, more effective options that would benefit your company. In fact, most IT guys we’ve met will throw up road blocks and repeat myths until they’re blue in the face in order to avoid change. Especially change that might make their department less critical or smaller. Bottom line: most of you CEOs have given the IT guy way, way, way too much power. It’s time to take it back.

62 Comments

  1. @ pooloo

    Don’t kid yourself. You would be surprised who is reading MDN.

    The childish rants on MDN are normally reserved for those in the “I love MS, I know nothing but MS Win, and I hate Apple” camp.

    I do see the iPhone making major headway in corporates, just as the MacBook Pro’s are doing already.

  2. Get ready for the onslaught of email from Apple people.

    It’s about time for the CEOs of these companies to start doing what is best for the comany, instead of leaving business decisions in the hands of backward thinking, job protecting, anti-Apple, Microshaft hugging, IT maroons.

  3. Reality Check: you don’t have a very adult view on the world do you?

    Since when are shareholders measuring the results of CEO’s by measuring the time they spend “dicking around with Cover Flow”?

    Please, enough your inane astroturfing.

  4. @ Road Warrior.

    I have been using the handle “Road Warrior” for a while at this site, never seen anyone imp or use the same handle until now. It looks like a valid post, so I am wondering if you are attempting to imp the handle or just using it as well. Might cause some confusion.

    Just curious.

    Love the sound of the chairs falling at Redmond by the way.

  5. You need to seperate small and medium sized businesses from large enterprises who absolutely need security – this space is all RIM’s because of their infrastructure to provide fully encrypted instant email all the way.

    In the smaller and mid sized business world, it’s more about usefulness to the end user, which iPhone should provide in a big way. It is absolutely absurd to think that in a billion a year unit market (and growing), more than one company can succeed.

    Oh, and are you guys forgetting in the US, Apple and ATT have a 5 year exclusive agreement? Non-ATT cellular customers represent 75% of the US market. Yes, many will switch for the iPhone, but many will not. I’m all about Apple domination but settle down.

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