There was more good news in the survey of the actual policies deployed on those 2 million managed devices: When IT does blacklist apps, it now does so largely for a rational type of software -- cloud storage. Of the top 10 blacklisted apps, six were cloud storage services: Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, SugarSync, SkyDrive, and Hoccer. When Zenprise did a similar survey of policy deployments a year ago, IT was blocking Angry Birds, not cloud storage. Today, based on the Fiberlink data, IT seems to be blocking cloud storage as well as Angry Birds, plus other potential time-wasters such as Netflix, Pandora, and Facebook.
Frankly, IT shouldn't block personal apps; if employees are wasting time at work, that's a management problem, not an IT issue. Crippling the personal aspects of a smartphone for the 15 to 16 hours a day they're not working is simply wrong.
In most cases, IT shouldn't be blocking cloud storage apps, either. They're quite handy for personal use, and if the goal is to restrict information flow outside of controlled environments, the solution is to control the information at the source, not on mobile devices, PCs, and so on after the fact. Ironically, one of the most whitelisted apps was Dropbox, likely by IT organizations seeking to reduce lost thumb drives and CDs by putting data in a unlosable location -- no doubt secured through password requirements.
Still, at least the blacklisting decisions -- in those rare instances they occur -- now are more based on plausible business concerns. That's progress.
This article, "Guess what? IT doesn't care what's on your iPhone," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Read more of Galen Gruman's Mobile Edge blog and follow the latest developments in mobile technology at InfoWorld.com. Follow Galen's mobile musings on Twitter at MobileGalen. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.