Since the iPhone is one of the most hyped, overanalyzed, and lathered-up technology products ever introduced, and since InformationWeek reaches millions of people who buy and use technology products for a living, we asked one of the top CIOs in the world to assess the iPhone's viability as a business tool. And boy oh boyzee, were the Apple faithful agitated by what that CIO wrote.
Since the iPhone is one of the most hyped, overanalyzed, and lathered-up technology products ever introduced, and since InformationWeek reaches millions of people who buy and use technology products for a living, we asked one of the top CIOs in the world to assess the iPhone's viability as a business tool. And boy oh boyzee, were the Apple faithful agitated by what that CIO wrote.As "hardmanb" said, "This review is a straw man argument. Set up a goal never claimed "that the iPhone was a business device" and then shoot it down."
Dear hardmanb: Thanks for the comments, but here's another perspective: many of Apple's products are geared primarily toward consumers, but have also found significant uptake in the business community: from notebooks to servers to monitors to iPods and more. In that context, we posed the question this way: "It's clearly a remarkable new product that will change how many millions of people use smartphones and what their expectations of such devices should be. By extension, does that vast potential extend into the business world?"
P.S.: hardmanb, check out the final line in the post below from JTK, who's a CIO---that straw man is developing quite the rigorous skeleton, I'd say.
And here are some comments from a CIO who says the iPhone *is* a great business tool and that the post from our CIO of the Year, Dan Drawbaugh, missed the mark (this poster goes by JTK):
"I AM a CIO and am using my iPhone happily in environments with Apple mail and Microsoft Exchange. I just don't know where people get off with ignorant posts about what is secure and what is not. In fact, the iPhone support encrypted IMAP (that IMAP over SSL) without problems. It also works with SMTP... so content is encrypted as well as Airport traffic being encrypted over WEP or WPA.... And yes, this device HAS made me more productive in the business world."
Dear JTK: First of all, please accept our invitation to write a more-extensive post about the iPhone in general and about "what is secure and what is not." We value your CIO-level insights and will be delighted to publish your thoughts in full. Second, while you might not agree with the conclusions offered by Dan Drawbaugh, to call his post "ignorant" belies your position and intelligence. Are Dan's experiences, infrastructure, policies, standards, and processes different than yours? No doubt. And that's why we were glad to get your quick reaction, and would be eager to post a longer evaluation from you.
A poster named ATS says he's the CEO of a company that develops industrial-automation solutions who's had good success with the iPhone in that business environment:
"But we are a Mac Shop and we have none of the problems cited the author. How? We are not in the Microsoft mono-culture with its out dated---one might say archaic---architecture. Every transmission in our environment is encrypted, whether it is email, chat or wireless; all using Apple software and hardware. More than FUD---Fear and Loathing in Microsoft Land."
Good stuff, ATS---thanks for the insights. I'm intrigued by the "Fear and Loathing in Microsoft Land" comment, however----Dan Drawbaugh runs IT strategy and deployment for an organization with 40,000 employees and extensive partners and joint ventures around the world. Could your Mac infrastructure handle that, or is that a little Fluff and Bluffing from Apple Land?
Snippets from other agitated Apple acolytes include "If they wanted something to deal with corporate email securely, and was meant for business people and a business infrastructure, they would have made a blackberry" (thank you, TJR) and "It seems the IT just bought a new toy to play with, that's all" (thank you, CC)---read 'em all here, and be sure to add your two cents to the discussion.
Final thought: The days of "this is ONLY a consumer device" are long gone----the consumer effect that makes us demand the same level of sophisticated experience in the office that we're accustomed to at home will not go away, and whether Apple devotees like it or not, the iconic status the company has achieved---and that the iPhone was given before it was ever introduced---will bring to bear upon it relentless scrutiny about its utility as a business device. What's your stance on this?