Smartphone Primer

By  Andrew M. Seybold — July 02, 2010

With the introduction in June 2010 of the iPhone 4 and new BlackBerry devices, plus more Android and Windows Phones on the way, companies face a widening array of smartphone platforms to consider for their mobility strategy. The impact of your enterprise mobility decisions can be huge, and the solutions, or sets of solutions, you choose will depend on the ownership policies and the level of device management you want to exercise. Determining which smartphone operating systems are best for your organization and employees depends on how you answer the following questions:

1. How important is data encryption to your organization?

2. How important is it to be able to manage all smartphones being used by your employees?

  • Making sure their applications are the latest version
  • Being able to troubleshoot devices remotely
  • Being able to wipe both the phone and any memory card plugged into it if the phone is lost or misplaced
  • Providing back-up services

3. Do you want to keep your data behind your own firewall or will you permit it to be stored in the cloud (on a server that is protected but not under your direct control)?

4. Do you intend to provide your employees with help desk support?

  • With how many different smartphones will help desk personnel have to become conversant?
  • Will they have the tools needed to help troubleshoot operational and applications issues?

5. Do you want your employees to be able to use your networked-based, company-specific applications on their smartphones?

  • Are there versions of these applications commercially available or will you have to write your own?
  • Are the applications available for all of the various models of smartphones being used within your company?

6. What is your policy for "personal use" for voice, data, and video services over wireless?

  • Do you have the tools to enforce these


In our next issue, we'll tell you what to do once you've answered these questions. This will help you craft policies on which to base your decisions concerning how many different types of smartphones your company is willing to support, and their capabilities.


Andrew M. Seybold is CEO & Principal Analyst with Andrew Seybold, Inc., a wireless industry consulting and research firm. Visit for more information.



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