Why The Iphone Is Here To Stay


 

 

 

The iPhone is Here to Stay.

What's an Enterprise to do About it?

Google “iPhone in the Enterprise” and in the blink of an eye, millions of results will appear. Many of these

results are articles, white papers and analyst reports commenting on iPhone shortcomings that make it

an unsuitable device to be set loose in any responsible organization. This vast congregation of reporters,

analysts, IT managers and other industry commentators correctly point out that the iPhone was designed as a

consumer/prosumer device and only after the fact was promoted as “The best phone for business. Ever.”

You really can’t argue with the assertions made by this rather vast community of pundits that the iPhone,

straight out of the box, is not quite ready yet for prime time in the enterprise.

Most of the comments focus on security and manageability issues, which are de rigueur for any technology

to be deployed across the enterprise – particularly mobile devices that operate beyond the hardened, welldefended

walls of the data center.

The 451 Group, for example, in its November 2008 report, iPhone in the Enterprise, states, “Security

comprises confidentiality, integrity and availability – that is, that messages are reasonably difficult to decrypt

without a key; that one can rely on the source of a message and be sure it reached its intended recipient;

and that the asset or network will remain available. Anything that misses any of those criteria is insecure by

definition.”

Gartner, which initially found the iPhone unfit for enterprise use, has recently revised its opinion, now

deeming it “acceptable,” with a clear caveat regarding security.

Of course, back here in the real world, it doesn’t really matter what any of these folks say when it comes

to the iPhone making its way into the enterprise. End-users, including many executives, love the iPhone, and

ultimately – like it or not – that’s what matters. IT managers are just going to have to love, or at least accept it,

because the iPhone as an enterprise device is already a done deal. Fighting this juggernaut is pointless.

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Just as resistance to PCs in the enterprise proved futile, IT must realize that end-user demand for

convenience, functionality and unaided access to enterprise applications and data will nearly always prevail

over IT’s preference for hard and fast control.

IT Innovation Driven from the Outside In

This is particularly true because of the emergence of the mobile enterprise as the most dynamic portion

of many businesses. There are estimates that mobile employees now comprise upwards of 35 percent of

corporate employees and projections that that number will soar to more than 70 percent over the next

couple of years. Increasingly, the business-critical activities of many organizations take place at the edges of

enterprises. Likewise, much of today’s enterprise innovation is being driven by the actions and expectations of

end-users operating in the field at the points of action and opportunity.

As noted earlier, we’ve seen this bottom up or outside in model of IT enterprise change and innovation in

the past with the unauthorized and unwelcome introduction of PCs, laptops, cell phones and PDAs into the IT

ecosystem. These earlier events were driven by end-users seeking greater convenience and access to previously

closely guarded centralized systems. With the rapid adoption of smartphones in enterprises – authorized or

not – we saw it again. It is difficult to find an executive or mobile worker who does not have some type of

smartphone close at hand – indeed in hand – at all times.

Now that a number of smartphones offer power, functionality, storage capacity, wireless voice and data

capability, larger screens and other features that often make them reasonable alternatives to notebook

computers for many business purposes, their future is one of ubiquity.

Redefining the Smartphone

The introduction of the iPhone by Apple in 2007, which was seen

by almost everyone as a redefinition of the smartphone, essentially

guaranteed it would soon find its way into enterprises in spite of

weaknesses that posed legitimate concerns for senior management and

IT departments. It delivered a completely new and empowering mobile

experience for users. The opening of Apple’s App Store and the release

of its SDK, allowing enterprise vendors to develop and sell enterprisefocused

applications, pushed the probability factor that the iPhone would

storm the enterprise to the level of inevitability.

One other factor at work here is the once big-buzz issue of

convergence. End-users have long desired a single, small form factor

computing device that would free them from lugging multiple devices

around like soldiers weighed down by backpacks, tools and weaponry,

communications devices, and other essential equipment and supplies

jammed into every pocket and hooked onto every clothing loop.

Shifting the Focus of the Discussion

Given these realities, the discussion needs to shift to one of how to incorporate the iPhone into the

enterprise in a way that ensures the continued security of sensitive information. IT needs to be able to

provision and manage the devices despite a very different method of application deployment and the use of

the iPhone for both personal and business functions.

Let’s begin with the obvious. Employees on the move have a number of IT requirements that are essential to

their optimal productivity and effectiveness. These include wireless access to:

• Email

• The Internet

• Corporate intranets

• Enterprise applications (ERP, CRM, SFA, etc.)

• Customer contact information and history

• Personal and corporate calendars

They also require the ability to store business-critical data on their smartphones and to receive behind-thescenes

data and software updates as they become available.

One more complicating factor is that many mobile workers purchase their own mobile devices. Take the

case of independent insurance agents, for example. They typically own their own devices and are not too

keen about IT departments wanting to install software to monitor and manage their use of their devices. This

scenario is particularly likely to be true of iPhone users.

Still, IT departments are responsible for the security of the enterprise and the integrity of the data collected

and maintained in the course of doing business. They must protect against security breaches that might occur

if phones are “misused,” lost or stolen, when sensitive data is in transit and in an environment in which mobile

malware delivered via email is a growing threat?

Easier Said Than Done? Not Necessarily.

Getting to the crux of the issue, one might ask the simple question: “Okay, I hear what you’re saying. Now

tell me how to do it.”

Addressing these challenges strategically, organizations need to implement a secure infrastructure that

delivers iPhone support without requiring changes to their existing enterprise messaging infrastructures.

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They need to find a way to cordon off the consumer aspects of the iPhone from the enterprise aspects. Put

another way, they need to create an enterprise only zone on the iPhone. Having done that (no problem, right?),

IT can then address the specific security and management functionality required to bring the iPhone into

compliance with the organization’s rigorous policies.

By addressing the unique challenges posed by the iPhone from a strategic, architectural perspective, IT

departments can ensure that on the enterprise-only portion of the iPhone, industry-standard encryption

algorithms protect all data that is communicated between their data center servers and iPhone clients. They

can also make sure that all of the enterprise data at rest on the device is fully encrypted. They can implement

and enforce password access and react to potential threats through device lock-down and/or data wipe. All

while leaving the non-enterprise area of the iPhone unaffected.

Additional, essential functionality that can be delivered through the use of such an enterprise isolation

approach includes:

• Over-the-air client provisioning and deployment

• Automated, unattended software upgrades

• Support for standard service monitoring tools

• Secure communications with no impact on device processor or battery performance

• Single security solution for all mobile device communications

Beyond supporting secure email, organizations can also enable iPhone users to take action from within their

email clients to initiate or complete business processes, such as submission and approval of expense reports,

human resources requisitions and purchase orders, or to receive notifications and view CRM activities.

This Is Not Science Fiction

Before you dismiss this approach as science fiction, vaporware or some other figment of someone’s

imagination, you should know that such a solution exists today.

The solution is called iAnywhere Mobile Office, offered by Sybase, the recognized leader in

enterprise mobility.

iAnywhere Mobile Office has been enhanced to provide enterprise-class support for the iPhone. Specifically,

the latest release combines enterprise-class email, calendar, contacts and tasks along with a unique approach

for enhanced security. The release also offers several administrative and security features that enable

enterprises to reduce the total cost of ownership when deploying wireless email and business processes to a

variety of mobile devices, including the iPhone, Windows Mobile and Symbian.

iANYWHERE SOLUTIONS, INC.

WORLDWIDE HEADQUARTERS

ONE SYBASE DRIVE

DUBLIN, CA 94568-7902

U.S.A.

1-800-801-2069

www.sybase.com/mobileenterprise

iAnywhere Solutions is a subsidiary of Sybase, Inc. Copyright © 2009 iAnywhere Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved. Unpublished

rights reserved under U.S. copyright laws. iAnywhere, Sybase, and the Sybase logo are trademarks of Sybase, Inc.

or its subsidiaries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. ® indicates registration in the

United States. Specifications are subject to change without notice. 03/09 L03161

This new version of iAnywhere Mobile Office, offering enhanced network security, data protection, device

management, profile administration, cross-platform support, and deployment features is now available for iPhone

via Apple’s App Store.

The Sybase solution delivers all of the functionality and protection described earlier by employing a

unique approach: it isolates enterprise data in its own area on the iPhone to comply with enterprise security

requirements, while leaving the user’s personal data untouched and easily accessible.

It delivers this iPhone support without requiring changes to organizations’ enterprise’s messaging

infrastructures. Its outbound connection model adds an additional layer of security. Enterprises no longer need to

open inbound communication ports to the messaging infrastructure; all mobile device connections end within

the enterprise DMZ.

And just as Sybase has enhanced iAnywhere Mobile Office to extend support to the iPhone, work is underway

to enhance its mobile database and synchronization, mobile application development, and mobile device

management and security solutions to help make the iPhone even more enterprise worthy.

A Serious Contender in Need of Enterprise-Class Capabilities

Use of the iPhone in corporate enterprises is inevitable. As of January 2009, more than 17 million iPhones have

been sold. Sales are accelerating. In the fourth quarter of 2008 alone, 4.4 million iPhones were sold. The App Store

is doing a booming business with more than 15,000 applications and some half a billion downloads (among them

iAnywhere Mobile Office). Apple has done a phenomenal job of re-imagining and re-defining the smartphone as

a serious computing platform.

As the largest global enterprise software company exclusively focused on managing and mobilizing information

from the data center to the point of action, Sybase is working diligently to help organizations maximize the power

of mobility. That fact is nowhere more evident than in the enhancement of iAnywhere Mobile Office and other

Sybase solutions that continue to help make the iPhone ready for prime time in the enterprise.