Enterprises dropping BlackBerry support in favor of the iPhone

Companies are more likely to support Windows Phone 8 than BlackBerry 10, according to iPass/MobileIron survey

The iPhone has supplanted the BlackBerry as the mobile-device darling of the enterprise, according to a new study from iPass and MobileIron. Researchers found that the iPhone now enjoys IT support at 74 percent of enterprises, up from 52 percent a year ago. By contrast, BlackBerry is now supported in 62 percent of enterprise companies, down from 77 percent the previous year.

Worse yet for the company formally known as RIM: Only 34 percent of IT managers said they planned to support the newly released BlackBerry 10 in 2013, compared to 45 percent who plan to support Windows Phone 8 devices. Notably, the report (PDF), based on responses from 477 IT professionals from around the globe, was taken prior to BlackBerry 10's official launch, so the sentiment was based more on hearsay than hands-on testing.

Android-based smartphones, meanwhile, enjoy the third highest amount of support among IT managers at 61 percent, up from 48 percent a year ago. The report predicts that Android is set to outpace BlackBerry to claim the No. 2 spot by next year.

Enterprises dropping BlackBerry support in favor of the iPhone

"These rankings are somewhat surprising since Android dominates the iPhone in the general market," the report noted. "According to research firm IDC, in Q3 2012, 75 percent of smartphones shipped globally were Android-based, while only 15 percent of smartphones shipped that quarter were iPhones. Yet, the iPhone is the device of choice in the enterprise."

On the tablet side, the survey found that the iPad remains the top choice, with support from 73 percent of companies. Android-based tablets are the second-most popular at 44 percent, and Windows 8 tablets hold the third-place slot at 16 percent.

In general, the report reiterates the fact that BYOD is burgeoning in the business world, forcing companies -- especially IT departments -- to adapt their practices and business processes accordingly. The shift has been slow: While 81 percent of companies state they now accommodate personal devices in the office, only 56 percent of enterprises have made reflective changes to their corporate guidelines within the past year and just 54 percent of companies have formalized BYOD policies.

Enterprises dropping BlackBerry support in favor of the iPhone

IT departments are bearing the brunt of BYOD, with the top two sources of frustration relating to onboarding and supporting personal devices, particularly offering support for "specialized members' non-provisioned devices." The fact that onboarding and supporting personal devices beat out even security concerns suggests the significance of the burden IT feels from BYOD, the report noted.

Beyond support issues, 55 percent of the companies surveyed said they'd suffered some form of security issue over the past year, mostly in conjunction with lost or stolen phones. Also vexing for IT departments: They're increasingly losing control of mobility budgets. IT now manages them in 48 percent of enterprise companies, down from 53 percent. Business units now control the mobility budget at 22 percent of companies, and the finance department handles them at 18 percent.

Speaking of budgets, the report also found that IT departments are fretting over increasing mobile-data costs. As it stands, IT departments spend an average of $96 per month on data fees for each mobile workers. Fifty seven percent of respondents anticipate those expenses will jump this year, and 8 percent expect costs to rise by more than 25 percent.

Also of note: 53 percent of respondents said they don't let employees expense mobile data fees for personal devices.

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Copyright © 2013 IDG Communications, Inc.