And Zenprise provides a troubleshooting tool for the iPhone that monitors and fixes user issues, such as not getting e-mail or calendar entries on the iPhone.
Security issues will only get trickier
Richard Stiennon, chief research analyst with IT-Harvest, agrees that the current iPhone security and management tools aren't up to snuff. The problem will only get worse due to the iPhone's use of open APIs, which help them interact better with other tools and services, but also open paths for malware. "The open, or even partially open, APIs cannot be easily secured," he says.
Steinnon expects security vendors to offer more, and more capable, tools as user demand for the iPhone forces businesses to bring them in. That's true not just for the iPhone but for all mobile devices designed primarily for consumers, such as the Google Android platform, he notes. That's pretty much everything but the BlackBerry and perhaps Windows Mobile.
Skeptics maintain that the iPhone is no more than a toy
Tower Group's Egan sees such point tools for business iPhone management as Trojan horses that IT should be wary of. The availability of such tools mislead enterprise users into thinking the iPhone is compatible with enterprise-class security and compliance needs, when it is not. "The minute you try and interact and deploy management and security and qualify applications on a large scale, there's nothing there," he says.
Egan says enterprises make platform decisions that are not typically driven by the usability of a single device. Until Apple is willing to talk about its long-term enterprise strategy or compliance, management, and security, he calls the iPhone a one-trick pony.