So how do you answer the question of the Consumerisation Model for smartphones?
Well Research In Motion (RIM) seems to have a response for the ever-expanding BlackBerry (and soon to be PlayBook carrying) public.
In BES v5.0.3 they are smuggling through a rather large but yet not discussed answer; "BlackBerry Balance", a very clever brand spanking new way for BlackBerry enterprise managers to separate the device users’ work and private information, their data and
their applications. This inherently ticks the box for consumerisation (with the BlackBerry community at least!).
Not only does it allow the separation of information, but also it allows the type of security (including remote management) that we see in corporate supplied devices for users’ corporate information, but on a personal handset.
There will be a lot written over the next two months about BlackBerry Balance (mainly in my opinion driven by the interest in the PlayBook), so I expect it to be a big story in the press – particularly given the high levels of interest in the ‘Consumerisation
Model’ (or, as we ‘long–in-the-tooth’ industry guys might view it – part of the ‘Jericho Forum’ concept).
Here are a few facts for you on BlackBerry Balance to keep you going until it hits the headlines:
- BlackBerry Balance offers administrators full support for employee-owned BlackBerry smartphones in the workplace.
- BlackBerry Balance can delete only work data or applications from a consumer purchased device; and do this without affecting any private data.
- Enterprise management teams can still perform a full data cleanse, if necessary.
- BlackBerry Balance can remove all corporate IT policies from users' handset.
- BlackBerry Balance also offers new security features to prevent users from cutting/copying/pasting between corporate data and private data and applications or mail services. It will also caution users whenever they're about to send email or calendar
invites outside of the company domain.
- Settings can be created to prevent device backups, to protect corporate information.
- Corporate data stored on a media card can be encrypted.
And the killer security function; organisations can use BlackBerry Balance to prevent access to corporate information via third-party apps.
This could be a really cool way of managing the work/life balance in your mobile world, without having to carry two handsets as many people do, and it’s nice to see an old favorite of the corporate world leading the way again. In a world where BlackBerry
Messenger is driving sales of the handsets, it could be a very important part of the RIM arsenal over the next couple of years.
From the view point of a Consumerisation Model Strategy though, this only answers one of the questions. With other platforms such as Apple’s iOS, Android and others in the market, there is still a way to go for a fully rounded strategy covering the full
requirement for todays’ tech-savvy user base.