Real-life business exec dismantles Forrester’s ‘IT shouldn’t support Apple’s iPhone’ piece

“One research company is warning information-technology departments not to let iPhones into the workplace. But one business that’s embraced Apple’s devices says that the productivity gains outweigh any drawbacks,” Ben Worthen blogs for The Wall Street Journal.

“Yesterday, Forrester Research released a report listing the top 10 reasons why IT shouldn’t support iPhones. We went over the list with Mark Goble, executive vice president at Goble & Associates, a healthcare advertising company. Over the summer, Goble bought iPhones for all of his company’s 20 or so account managers. Previously these managers used a range of devices, including BlackBerrys and Treos. The short version: Goble says the iPhone is by far the best device he’s ever used, his staff is more productive, and his tech department is surprised at how [easy] the iPhones are to manage,” Worthen reports.

Goble responds to each of Forrester’s points quite nicely here.

Carl Howe blogs for Blackfriars’ Marketing, “Forrester released a rather poorly argued report yesterday describing why IT shouldn’t support Apple’s iPhone. Why do I claim it is poorly argued? Because the summary promptly contradicts the lede of the article saying that C-level executives will insist on deploying iPhones anyway. So why should IT be fighting that process?”

“My two cents: Forrester got it wrong for the second time this month. Whoever is in charge of research now at Forrester now needs to take a look at its research and editorial methods. Something is broken,” Howe writes.

Full article here.

37 Comments

  1. That was research?!?

    I thought it was one of those PC World lists — 10 things we loved about the Commodore 64, 10 ways to get e-mail from a broken server, 10 ways to get cyber sex from a Russian chatbot, etc.

    I had no idea someone was trying to pass it off as research.

  2. Sillyness.

    There are certainly rational reasons to be upset with Apple concerning certain aspects of the iPhone, and Apple is addressing these issues. The Forrester report ignores these issues and goes for a level of FUD based charlatanism only the most prolific of liars could appreciate.

    I’m far more concerned that Forrester is calling this “crap” research and allow their name to add credibility to it.

    My guess is they didn’t get free iPhones for “testing.”

  3. I guess there’s your “case study,” Forrester (fake) Research.

    Great tools will find their way into business, no matter what the paided-off media may publish as actual “research.” With businesses using web-based applications (secure employee-only web sites) more and more, there is no better tool mobile professionals. No other mobile phone allows access to the same web sites accessed by employees from computers (unlike other devices with limited browsers). Any “real” issues with iPhone will no doubt be addressed by Apple and others in the coming months.

  4. I just formed a new company, it’s called “Fair and Honest Research”. I have taken my inspiration from Forrester Research, and modeled my company after them.

    It took us a while but we have also just completed a thorough and exhaustive research study. In our study we have determined that 100% of all IT departments should support the iPhone and end support for all other smart phones. Gee I hope Forbes picks up our study and runs with it!

    P.S. Full disclosure . . . I’m long APPL and the sample for our study was kind of small . . . well really small actually . . . and there is no we . . . I just asked kinda myself.

  5. Actually I’m not impressed or moved by Goble’s story. The fact that his team is more productive on the iPhone is great…but as the article states, they were on a myriad of devices before. Any device standardization will help improve team productivity – if they had all gone to BlackBerry or (to a lesser degree) Treo, they could have seen the same results. Forrester’s list can be debunked in many areas but not all. iPhone is still a consumer-oriented phone and until Apple markets and sells to business it won’t be taken seriously by IT departments. Begrudgingly supported, yes, but it’s not yet an enterprise device.

  6. As theRob says I am not impressed by this article either. The fact that this particular business user doesn’t get the valid concerns expressed by Forrester doesn’t mean that their analysis is flawed.

    However, Forrester underestimates the power of users who tend to ignore IT when they want to get things done quickly. The iPhone is such an improvement over previous technologies that IT will have to support them like it or not. Remember, IT doesn’t run the business, they are usually regarded as an obstacle to progress. If users clamor for technology they will get it. If it were any different we would still be using dumb terminals.

  7. @Ampar: “lede” is journalist lingo for the first paragraph of the story — it’s a deliberate misspelling of “lead,” done to avoid confusion with the metal (Pb) of the same spelling.

    Incidentally, this is also why that little band that played a reunion gig on Monday spells its name “Led” Zeppelin — to get you to think of a zeppelin made of the 82nd element in the periodic table, not the first zeppelin in an armada.

  8. I had the opportunity to compare my iPhone with my boss’s new company issued Blackberry. That thing was horrible with email attachments, especially Excel spreadsheets. There are at least 5 steps just to open the attachment. Then when he opened the same spreadsheet I had on my iPhone, his was unreadable. All of the columns were too narrow to display the data. He had to go through even more clicks to expand the columns. Then he couldn’t figure out how to scroll left or right. Any time saving for getting email pushed were just blown out the door with this mess of a system.

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