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One Company That Lost It All by Ignoring the BYOD Trend

One Company That Lost It All by Ignoring the BYOD Trend

Just yesterday we posted about the steamrolling phenomenon known as BYOD (bring your own device) and its MDM (mobile device management) implications for IT departments.

Yesterday’s technology and business news was also a reminder of just how powerful a trend like BYOD can be.

As reported by the CBC, former king of the smartphone hill Blackberry agreed in principle to be bought for $9 per share, or $4.7 billion. Blackberry was not too long ago valued at about $83 billion.

So what happened to that $78 billion in company value?
…One answer is BYOD.

Sure, you can point to the sudden arrival of the iPhone. And Blackberry’s painfully slow realization that it should offer touchscreen phones. And have an app store.

But much of what Blackberry didn’t do was because the company thought it didn’t have to.

That’s because Blackberry grew to its preeminence in the mobile market based largely on its ability to deliver secure mobile communications favored by IT departments. Its thinking was logical but ultimately flawed: IT departments trusted Blackberry and only Blackberry. IT had 100% responsibility for choosing, distributing and managing phones. Therefore Blackberry had an ongoing lock on the market.

Which it did…until the iPhone.

Then consumers got used to what they considered a better smartphone experience, first on iPhones and then on Android phones. Blackberry ignored this trend as a consumer trend that wouldn’t affect its business model of selling to IT.

But Blackberry forgot one very important thing: The Consumerization of IT (CoIT)…

Consumer is a term for a person when he or she is not at work. When consumers go to work, they’re employees: IT staff, marketing managers, CIOs, CFOs, CEOs. And they want to do their jobs using the devices they are most comfortable and productive with.

Once the demand for non-Blackberry smartphones started to enter the workplace and IT departments began reading the writing on the wall and implementing BYOD policies, it was too late for Blackberry to reverse the trend.

The moral of the story? It’s possible to lose $78 billion in less than a decade by ignoring demand and thinking you’re invulnerable. And that businesses are comprised of people with demands.

So pay close attention to the device demands of your workforce. Sooner rather than later (if you haven’t done so already), work towards implementing a sound BYOD policy that brings benefits to your business as well as your employees.

We recommend that you start by learning more about MDM services that can help you securely and efficiently support a diverse fleet of devices.

(Bonus: To read more about BYOD and Blackberry, take a look back at this WSJ.com blog post: “How BYOD Became the Law of the Land.”)

About Mike Salviski

Mike Salviski
Mike Salviski is the Sr. Director of IT Solutions at EarthLink Business, overseeing Cloud, Virtual and Data Center Solutions and IT Services Sales. His previous roles were Director of Business Development at LogicalSolutions.net where he was involved in oversight and sales of their enterprise VMware cloud platform. Mike has 10 years of experience in the Enterprise Application Architecture space with Fortune 500 Companies, as an employee of SAP Software for 7 Years. His other past companies include Silicon Valley based Plumtree Software and PeopleSoft Software.