We were looking for a killer product to kick off the Gadget Envy blog and didn't find one. We did find a lot of good products that straddle the professional/consumer worlds and a lot of evidence that starting this blog is a good idea.
But the best thing we found -- and the best way to describe the new blog -- is a quote. It was delivered in a TechWhack story by John Kampfe, an AT&T spokesperson, when discussing Cingular's introduction of the ruby-colored BlackBerry Pearl and the crimson Treo 680:
"It's not just about getting your corporate information anymore. It's about taking pictures, downloading MP3s, and having video capability."
Need more proof that the two worlds are converging? Take a look at the BlackBerry site. Reseach in Motion is devoting about as much valuable home page real estate to consumers as to its core business customers. The reality is that most folks tend to use their devices for both work and pleasure. Nobody says, "No, sorry, I can't look up the Duke/Virginia Commonwealth score -- this is my business BlackBerry." The problem is that mixing business and consumer priorities in a single device creates internal conflicts with which IT departments must deal.
Some of the issues:
How can an organization know about and, if necessary, limit the extent to which employees use its equipment for personal use?
If a company asks an employee to use his or her devices for work, how can it ensure that the devices are secure and meet compliance and corporate policy requirements?
What security safeguards are required on ever-smaller portable storage devices, such as MP3 players?
What classes of consumer products and platforms should organizations track because either they will be useful to employees or represent emerging marketing and advertising platforms?
What network platform enhancements aimed at consumers will be useful to organizations, particularly as workforces become more distributed and mobile?
We also intend to cover some devices simply because we think they are cool.