Is Apple's iPhone Ready For The Enterprise?

The iPhone, a consumer powerhouse, has garnered a lot of interest among prosumers that leaves us wondering if it's quite ready for the enterprise. We've received a surprising volume of client inquiries over the past few weeks regarding whether large organizations should add the iPhone to their list of internally supported mobile devices. Forrester strongly believes that the first generation of the iPhone is not an enterprise-class mobile device. Limitations like its lack of support for push email and calendar, third-party applications, and disk or file encryption make the iPhone impossible to secure and manage. However, improvements are already being taken to make the iPhone more business friendly with a new generation that will support 3G networks and will be open to third-party applications.

Is there anyone out there that thinks we're off base here and that has welcomed the iPhone within the walls of your enterprise? If so, we'd love to hear your thoughts. Look out for an upcoming Forrester report on this topic as it is proving to be a hot one in the mobile enterprise space.

Comments

re: Is Apple’s iPhone Ready For The Enterprise?

The iPhone already works perfectly well in the Enterprise. I work for a big telecoms group with 20,000 employees, and many of us are already using an iPhone which is perfectly synchronised with our MS Exchange e-mail server thanks to Synchronica ( www.synchronica.com ). It's exactly the same as push e-mail (Blackberry) since it automatically checks for new e-mails every 15 mins. The iPhone is a much better professional tool than a Blackberry for serious work, with a much easier interface and better attachment handling, and a proper web browser.

re: Is Apple’s iPhone Ready For The Enterprise?

Well, gee, I've got a better track record than Forrester. Your "wish list" is ill-conceived; "push" Email and calendaring are unneeded in the age of GMail. 3G is not mission critical; one is rarely far from a wifi network these days.As for encryption-- guess what? While highly desirable, nobody actually uses that anyway. Is MS web access encrypted? Nope.

re: Is Apple’s iPhone Ready For The Enterprise?

We have a number of users using iPhones directly with Exchange via the Outlook Web Access server provided by our IT group. This works perfectly, calendar synchs well through iTunes and Entourage.

re: Is Apple’s iPhone Ready For The Enterprise?

I agree it's not 100% enterprise level yet. It can be USED in the enterprise, but it has a stretch to go.The email point is not valid. Stop retreading that crap.Calendar via exchange? valid. Should people be using Exchange, or switching to OS X Server? That questions should be looked at.Centralized management? Valid if the data on the phone is sensitive.3G wireless? Someone find me a person that knows what it is, and really cares.What is never mentioned, and is a real concern, is that the iPhone doesn't support WPA or WPA2 Enterprise, only Personal. This makes a lot of Wi-Fi networks inaccessible.

re: Is Apple’s iPhone Ready For The Enterprise?

I'm sorry what is enterprise?Only work with MS; then iPhone not for you. Consumer's I think have the same security problems as any other organization, don't they. Personal information have to be secured, so does the Blackberry proved security for personal information! If I loose my Blackberry can another person access my contacts calander etc on the device.I think they can. So what the f$#@ are you all talking about-enterpries, do help explain it to me... please

re: Is Apple’s iPhone Ready For The Enterprise?

Good luck, we tried to buy 20 iPhones for our managers and AT&T wouldn’t sell them to us. They said that they can’t sell iPhones to business accounts - only consumers.

re: Is Apple’s iPhone Ready For The Enterprise?

We have several iphones in our small company and are very happy with them. The quality of the web browser, e-mail attachments (with the large multi-touch display) is driving its adoption. E-mail link with our exchange server works perfectly with 15 min auto update imap pull. We do really miss over the air calendar/contact update, however. We previously used GoodLink on Treo's (on T-Mobile) but we can't get rid of them fast enough.I agree with Ron.....biggest problem with iphone is inability to easily buy in bulk and run under a business phone plan. Why is Apple/ATT making it so difficult ?