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Posted by George Colony on July 30, 2009
If you're the typical CEO, you are carrying a BlackBerry. But not for long. Once the iPhone is able, in a corporate setting, to replicate all aspects of Outlook (email, calendar, notes, and tasks) with high security, the iPhone floodgates will open and you will have a new device. Here's why:
1) User interface. Despite the annoyance of the glass keyboard, the iPhone interface is faster, more intuitive, more flexible, and more versatile. You can do more, with more content, less instruction, and faster speed.
2) Applications. iPhone has a massive head start in the battle for applications. It's possible that your company already has an iPhone application in the market -- servicing your customers. Don't you wish you could see it? And there may already be applications available that will make your job easier -- I predict that corporate dashboards for CEOs will be a small but influential segment of the iPhone apps portfolio. In some markets, it's changing how customers connect to companies -- here's an example around mobile banking. The application revolution has begun -- and it's not on BlackBerry.
3) iPhone will soon be available from more cell services providers -- starting first in Europe. Once the device breaks out of its AT&T cage, the multiplier effect will kick in -- and the flood waters will rise fast.
Now there's a big "if" in all of this. Apple has been hostile to large corporate environments for years. Steve Jobs has famously called your CIO an "orifice" as in, "...we've never been good at going through the orifices to get to end users." Every time the company tries to leave the consumer and go enterprise, it goes from being cool to being incompetent. The company hates to take direction from anyone -- especially from large company CIOs.
But Apple may have to bend its corporate culture to grab the enterprise iPhone business -- the opportunity of moving iPhones into large companies will be too big and too lucrative to ignore. Once your company supports full Outlook replication to iPhones, many of your employees will dump their Blackberries -- and your CIO will begin looking at how she can build some game-changing corporate applications for the Apple device.
After many years of watching tech revolutions unfold, I know that winners control two factors: 1) they effect a quantum jump in man/machine interface, and 2) they win massive applications support. Check and check with the iPhone. If Apple consents to change its strategy, an iPhone will be coming your way.