Friday, March 21, 2008

Gartner flip flops on iPhone in the enterprise

Remember back in June when all of the analysts told Enterprise IT not to touch the iPhone? One of those analysts, Ken Dulaney, said of it,

"We're telling IT executives to not support it because Apple has no intentions of supporting [iPhone use in] the enterprise. This is basically a cellular iPod with some other capabilities, and it's important that it be recognized as such."

Oh man. How about some fries and a coke with those words?

This week Gartner released a revised research paper back-pedaling vigorously from their previous stance.

Ken Dulaney, John Girard, Robin Simpson authored a piece based completely on the iPhone roadmap announcement changes. They gave it appliance level creds instead of their platform level rating because of the unknowns - which is basically everything since they haven't played with any version 2.0 software yet.

What if your organization doesn't use Exchange? Or a Cisco VPN? What has really changed in the iPhone? Perhaps Apple will let you develop some applications like Salsforce? But you could always use Saas applications with the awesome Mobile Safari Browser. The iPhone is really just a small computer. It has had solid VPN software since launch and most (smart) business apps are built for the web. I've been accessing Exchange through IMAP and Outlook Web Access since June.

Apple saying it will support the enterprise is enough for Gartner? A cool Keynote presentation and some beta apps enough for them to reverse course? I am not feeling the "research".

More likely Gartner is seeing the rapid adoption and success of the iPhone in the enterprise which will only increase with the version 2.0 software. Blackberry and Windows Mobile are in trouble and everyone in this space knows it. Rather than leaving that big negative iPhone egg of a research report out there, Gartner are trying to switch their course as swiftly as possible.

I am waiting for the other analysts (IDC and 451 Group?) to do the same.


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