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Posted by Ted Schadler on October 1, 2008
But why the complex equation? Let me break it down for you:
IBM has no axe to grind with any mobile device (unlike Microsoft, who is required to promote Windows Mobile devices -- though we've seen a lot of iPhones on the Redmond campus lately). Therefore, it can afford to be device agnostic. The Armonk software giant has long supported BlackBerry, Nokia, and Windows Mobile devices. It now supports iPhone.
In other words, these iPhone owners are change agents. They see a benefit and want to go for it. We call this behavior of employee-led adoption "Technology Populism," and it's a force majeure. Here's one cool situation we heard from a client: demand for iPhone is so high that IT put up a wiki to encourage iPhone opportunists to comment on problems and solutions for iPhone in the enterprise. It's a "very active" wiki with 70 active participants. And this after only a month.
And that's an annoyance for IT. (Sigh.) But our information and management professionals -- Rick, Giselle, Henry, and Patty -- will have to get used to the pressure and turn around to apply it to Apple to provide support or at least third-party options to manage those iPhone devices. They're here to stay.
Well, yes, they did. Apple did it. And that's the point. This time around, it's IBM that did it -- a third-party. And that is the crux of the matter: An independent company can extend the value of iPhone by building a mobile Internet application. Nothing new there; after all the AppStore has a gazillion apps already. That's the iPhone part of the equation.
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