The fate of smartphones in the enterprise still is a bit fuzzy. Certainly, many are there and others will move in at an accelerating pace. The question, which has been asked since Research in Motion's BlackBerry was about the only game in town, remains how well IT and security forces will adopt to the new reality of multiple smartphones and powerful smartphone operating systems.
The question will not be definitively answered. The provisional answer right now seems to be that IT departments have accepted the new reality, and that the budding relationship between smartphones and the enterprise will continue to improve.
The key to enterprise adoption is the nitty gritty details, of course. The development of enterprise applications is one of these details. Jack Gold, the principal of an analyst firm that bear his name, says that the key will be applications beyond e-mail which, of course, was the key to the Blackberry's success. Perhaps more interesting is Gold's point that the iPhone's acceptance inevitably opens the way for Android-based gadgets. Simply, as more useful devices supported by more operating systems flood the market, enterprises are better off with more open platforms and policies.
The Nexus One has made a big splash, and observers are starting to assess it as a business tool. ReadWrite Enterprise offers a somewhat speculative piece on what Google's strategy may be for the Nexus One and business. The idea is that Google Apps will be integrated with an enterprise version of the phone, each of which will have a Google Voice number. Everything will be centralized. The phone, in essence, can be the linchpin for Google's services. The second half of the story are the writer's recommendations on security features that Google should add in anticipation of an enterprise play.
This David Coursey column says many of the same things about the Nexus One. His take is that big businesses may be well served by waiting for the enterprise device to be released, and says that recent comments by Google Vice President of Engineering Andy Rubin suggest that that day isn't too far off. For small- and medium-size businesses, however, the current version of Nexus One, outfitted with various Google offerings, will do quite nicely.