Is Android Entering the Enterprise?

Our customers are telling us that they want to look at Android and they’re doing so more frequently than ever before. It’s no surprise as consumers continue to snatch up Android devices in order to take advantage of the seemingly ever-expanding number of apps in the Google Apps Marketplace, new operating system capabilities and the availability of Android devices across networks.

But the question is: are Android devices “good corporate citizens”? Top of mind for IT is security and ease of management. Up to now, Android has not enabled most ActiveSync policies, which is the cost of entry into enterprise-readiness. Additionally, OEMs have enabled different capabilities in their devices, which has led to some fragmentation.

With Froyo (Android 2.2) things change. Many ActiveSync policies have been enabled, though not all. I would say that what Android 2.2 provides is pretty close to the capabilities of iPhone 3.0 over a year ago, which got the iPhone on many enterprise lists of approved devices. That said, Android 2.2 is not available yet, so it remains to be seen how the OEMs will choose to implement its capabilities. Clearly Android will get there – we just have to wait to see when and how!

You can read more on Android and its potential for entering the enterprise, in this CIO Update story.

iPhone 4 and Its Impact on the Enterprise

Last week kicked off with a bang as Steve Jobs took to the stage in San Francisco to announce the latest iPhone and the innovative capabilities it provides. Touting more than 100 new features, including FaceTime video calling and a very high resolution retina display, the iPhone 4 is poised to live up to its “game changer” billing by Apple.

Its impact will undoubtedly be felt by the enterprise as consumers’ fascination with the iPhone continues to grow. Companies can expect their employees to request – and yes, demand – support for the iPhone and other Apple devices. Enterprise Mobile customers are already gearing up to address user demand. They are piloting iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch devices – all based on the iPhone operating system, or iOS – carrying out proofs of concept for some very innovative mobility projects.

The latest enhancements will further drive iPhone adoption and provide greater choice for users. Those changes, plus advancements we can expect from Android and Windows Phone 7, are overwhelming IT. How can they effectively support technology they haven’t had a chance to use? Without an understanding of the best practices and processes needed to plan and roll out enterprise-scale deployments, CIOs are left to figure out for themselves – through trial and error – how to integrate very diverse platforms into their computing environments.

Rather than back away from the challenges, CIOs need to face them head-on. One proven, cost-effective alternative to handling all aspects of a mobility initiative in-house is to work with outsourcers. Our customers tell us they don’t have time to become mobility experts. That’s why they count on us to complement their skills and knowledge.

The mobility landscape is very dynamic, with devices and platforms changing at a dizzying pace. The rapid rate of change, coupled with an expanding mobile workforce, means that IT can expect to face increasingly greater challenges as it attempts to keep up. Expert services can provide some peace of mind.