Set the standards in the datacenter and in the network, such as access policies, security policies, and the like -- so the client computer doesn't need so much "touch" to operate and maintain.
When employees leave, let them buy their equipment for whatever the value is of depreciation you've not yet claimed on your corporate taxes.
What's in it for IT: Trying to control all the endpoints is a losing game. Save the effort and refocus on what you can maintain: your datacenter and network. You'll end up with better systems and more resources to create better capabilities for your business.
IT resolution No. 2: Let employees use any smartphone they want. Just as with computers, set security standards and access standards that users' smartphones must meet and offer a standard-issue option that comes with traditional IT support. Users who get their own devices get to manage them directly. Give users a monthly allowance for their smartphone spend, eliminating the need to monitor all those contracts, overuse charges, and quality-of-service issues.
If your security needs are high, install a product such as the Good for Enterprise server to support non-BlackBerry devices -- if you run BlackBerry Enterprise Server to take advantage of the BlackBerry's security capabilities, it's only fair you offer the equivalent server to support other devices.
What's in it for IT: Once again, trying to control all the endpoints is a losing game. Plus, chances are, IT's current smartphone of choice isn't the one that will significantly empower employees.
IT resoultion No. 3: Shift to Web-style apps. Wherever possible, deploy your specialty functionality through Web-based apps, whether through the intranet or over the (VPN-secured) Internet. Such apps aren't tied to specific device platforms, so you don't have to worry about vendors' or internal developers' platform choices. They also don't need local installation, so they are easier to maintain and modify.
Avoid those apps, and development platforms that produce apps, that use proprietary, platform-specific technologies, such as ActiveX; the whole idea is that you are freeing both you and your users from unnecessary dependencies. (Vendors will follow suit if you insist on not accepting their lock-in strategies.)
Some of these may be external cloud-provisioned apps -- if that sourcing option makes sense for the desired functionality.
What's in it for IT: As you move from nondependent applications, you reduce the complexity of managing them and coordinating their deployments. Think of all the effort spent to qualify apps for your current OSes and to do it all over again when you get a new PC or OS. With this resolution, that largely goes away.
IT resolution No. 4: Map out a strategy for the use of client virtualization. Anyone who has a Mac and runs Windows applications on it through Parallels Desktop or VMware Fusion knows what the future holds: Apps and user environments can exist in separate logical containers, yet work as part of a unified experience.