Could a combination of factors soon see the number of Blackberry users plummet?
The problems suffered by Blackberry users this week could be another opening for its competitors. Blackberry users suffered problems using their data servers for three days this week. The problem started in the EMEA region but then spread to South America and the US.
In the past a problem like this might not have done that much damage to Blackberry given its position as the must have business mobile device. But this is not the case anymore.
I did a story in May last year about Standard Chartered bank's decision to dump the Blackberry as its chosen mobile phone for staff and rather move them onto the iPhone.
The bank says the iPhone is a way to develop in-house mobile applications, cut costs and enhance employee satisfaction. It has 75,000 employees. Part of the reason for doing this was to give employees the opportunity to use the devices they were used to when working.
This is becoming an increasing trend as companies adopt Buy Your Own Computer strategies. This allows workers to decide the computer devices they want to use at work. We all know how much people love Apple iPhones and iPads, so this could put Blackberry under even more pressure. I was with the CIO of another bank the other day and he had an iPhone and an iPad and he talked about Apple's increasing importance in business.
This will become a common occurance because the new generation of employees are very technology savvy and want to use the same technology in the office and at home. People born between 1982 and 2000, known as generation Y now a significant portion of the workforce and businesses need to have the right kind of technology in place to satisfy them.
Another major shift is the increasing maturity of the cloud. This is creating a situation where consumers point their mobile phones at a cloud whenever they want a service. Businesses will emulate this with private clouds that employees will link to using their device of choice. Employees and customers will probably be using the same devices.
Although Standard Chartered is going to develop its own applications for the iPhone there are already business applications available. I did an article back in 2009 about some of the business apps on the iPhone. I thought now might be the time to link to that article. Here is the article: Top twelve enterprising iPhone apps for business.
Here is a more recent article about business apps on the iPhone.