What corporate IT needs to do to accommodate Apple iPhone

RoughlyDrafted’s Daniel Eran looks at “what IT managers will need to consider when determining how to deal with the iPhone, what its limitations are, and how things might change in the future.”

There are a number of issues involved with mobiles in business environments:
• securely delivering email to and from devices
• delivering push email
• integrating with a corporate calendar system
• integrating with custom Intranet applications
• provisioning and revocation of mobile devices

Eran writes, “The only corporate email systems incompatible with the iPhone are those that are incompatible with Internet standards.”

Full article here.

27 Comments

  1. I think the camera on the iPhone causes a problem here as well.

    Everybody around here who has a company phone uses a Blackberry without a camera on it. It’s due to security. Government entities, military, virtually any company with some kind of sensitive information cannot use phones with cameras.

    I seriously doubt that Apple will make an iPhone without a camera though…

  2. A Camera is not an issue.

    I work in a company with 30k employees and they fully support all active sync phones and black berrys with cameras. The ability to send sensitive information from an email is WAY easier then having to take a picture of it then send it off.

    The iphone needs to have exchange Active Sync support to really integrate into a large corporation, we will see if the rumors are true.

  3. My point about the camera is that the power is in the people, A camera in a phone is not all of the suddent going to allow everyone to send out sensitive information. everyone has that power now with emails.

  4. Whilst Roughly Drafted definitely has a focus on Apple and many of the articles have a strong does of personal opinion, I like how those opinions are always comprehensively backed up. The things written there shouldn’t be taken as gospel but they’re always detailed and fair I think. It just so happens that Apple are great (not perfect) and Microsoft are shit so it can easily look like apple fanboyism

  5. it really doesn’t make any difference what makes sense; lots of places have rules against cameras on cell phones. period. you aren’t going to get the people that make these rules to change their minds.

  6. The camera in the phone is a big fat red herring as far as security goes. I have a camera in my personal phone, and there is nothing stopping my from taking it to the office with me.
    If this was a big deal, we’d be patted down / strip searched / anally probed at the front door. Now… while this sounds *hawt*, it’s not very practical unless you work in a very high security area, which I would imagine wouldn’t allow phones of any kind anyway.
    I manage to waltz around with my iPod and an 80 GB firewire / USB drive that could hold all kinds of sensitive data. You can’t really stop this. You have to keep the PERSON away from the data if you want to keep it safe.

  7. I’m a Sprint user (not a particularly happy one) and I’ve looked at AT&Ts; coverage map as a result of considering the iPhone. I just can’t see a serious corporate user (or even a well traveled indiviual) signing up for such a limited network, compared to, say, Sprint. In the west and particularly the southwest, Sprint has partnered with other networks to provide essentially nationwide coverage whereas AT&T is just a big roaming hole. I guess my only hope is that Apple is exclusive with AT&T for the iPhone, but maybe not for the jPhone or the kPhone.

  8. disabling by s/w doesn’t pass muster in a lot of places, whether it is bluetooth, a camera, whatever. the rules usually are physical disconnection or physically turning something off. i am sorry, but it isn’t a red herring either, it might/probably doesn’t make sense to a lot of people, but the the kind of people that make these rules are not in the frame of mind to allow this. it isn’t a matter of trust, it is often a matter of someone not thinking and making a mistake because they are used to doing something a certain way. this issue with a cell phone causes problems with laptops. i still have a g4 laptop partly because it does not have a camera; apple doesn’t make laptops without cameras now and i personally know a number of people who have not upgraded for that reason. as apple gets bigger they are going to have to start paying attention to things they could ignore before because they had such a small market share. there are good and bad points to increased market share!
    mw: are we “clear” on this now?

  9. The camera issue is a killer for me as well. I work in the aircraft industry, and deal with a lot of government contracts. Part of my job consists of visiting governmental offices and military bases.

    A camera-equipped phone in my building is a security violation, period. It is a firing offense, even on the FIRST offense if the company decides.

    We have areas where no phones at all are allowed, camera or no camera. Those are the exception. ALL of our buildings, ALL of our properties are no-camera areas. This is not fixable by turning it off, or by removing an extension, or other software fixes. The only allowable “cure” is to not bring it in at all.

    So, my MacBook sits at home, and no iPhone for me.

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