Those iPhones. They'll kill ya.
Rob Enderle has some horrible things to say (tip o’ the antlers to Piotrowski via email) about using the iPhone in a corporate environment.
Hard to believe, isn’t it? The Macalope is just as shocked as you are.
But, apparently the iPhone can cause your entire company to come crumbling to the ground almost instantaneously. And give all your employees syphilis. Or something.
“The device isn’t secure enough, nor is it designed to run with corporate systems,” he said.
Enderle has been running around his usual circuit of lazy journalists spreading the idea that the iPhone isn’t secure since the day it came out.
The only real basis for this argument seems to be the fact that because it will run QuickTime, show a variety of image types and do other multimedia tasks, those files can be used to compromise the iPhone the same way they can be used to compromise a PC or a Mac.
Sooo, it’s no more or less secure than a PC or a Mac. OK. [The Macalope is working on a piece on security which he hopes to post over the weekend.]
What about it “not being designed to run with corporate systems”? There’s some truth here. iTunes is not an enterprise-level application, many web-based business applications use Java which the iPhone doesn’t support and many businesses eschew 802.11 because it’s not as secure as good o’ Ethernet cable.
But Enderle’s foil in this article — Forrester’s Charles Golvin — doesn’t seem to know what the hell Enderle’s talking about. He thinks some Office functionality will quickly make its way to the Mac (hey, even TextEdit can read Word files) and notes that Exchange does IMAP and so does the iPhone, unlike RIM devices. So the iPhone could be a good corporate player.
To really try to scare corporate IT executives, Enderle decides to play a little buzzword bingo.
If executives insist on connecting iPhones, then the IT department has a duty to report the violation since it could mean that Sarbanes-Oxley or other compliance rules have been broken, Enderle said.
Ooh! Mention Sarbanes-Oxley! That’ll get ‘em!
OK, now, the Macalope has not read Sarbanes-Oxley in its entirety, but he does know a bit about it and the whole point of it is putting in place proper controls that are properly documented. It obviously does not dictate which hardware or software you can use. If your business decided that what it needed to do to be successful is have every executive walk around with a live grenade in their hand, that would be fine under Sarbanes-Oxley as long as you had the proper controls in place (i.e. their hands would be duct taped closed, they’d be followed around by an admin assistant whose job it was to hold their hand closed, etc.).
Enderle is simply trying to use the issues of corporate security and policy as a club to try to bash the iPhone and get his name in another useless he said/she said article. Anyone who manages IT policy knows that the iPhone could just as easily be part of a policy as almost any other device. Enderle is simply assuming that business won’t make an Apple product part of their policy and that the only way it could conceivably get into an enterprise is from some rogue and rather stylish executives who might also be metrosexuals.
The point should be that no device that’s not an approved corporate standard (not just ones made by Apple) should be used for company business in an enterprise environment. The Macalope didn’t make this rule up and he has a lot to say about how enterprises tend to pick the least common denominator (Windows) as their corporate standard, but that’s the way this works, like it or not.
You could just as easily pick OS X and the iPhone as you could Windows and the Blackberry (or all four!) provided your policies and procedures covered those technologies.
Enderle’s one-trick pony really needs to be put down.