RIM to Offer Security Software for iPhones and Androids

The dead car has been replaced.  Thanksgiving is over, and sick kids are healthy (cross my fingers and knock on wood). So I am back and blogging again at a more regular interval. 

Yesterday RIM announced it will be releasing Mobile Fusion (in late March) to work on corporate iPhones and Androids. Mobile Fusion is software that will allow companies the option of linking employees’ personal iPhones and Androids to the corporate BlackBerry network without compromising security. 

So what does this mean for hospitals?  Well I hope it is just another step in the process for IT to accept iPhones and Androids as more than consumer devices.  (Crossing fingers, toes, eyes, and anything else that might help.)  According to Reuters. “many workers no prefer using their own Apple and Android powered devices to access corporate emails, raising security questions for corporations.”  RIM hopes to address these concerns with the new software.  Until now these concerns were being addressed by smaller niche companies that were offering security software or management systems for non-BlackBerry phones. 

While  Fusion will hopefully be a new revenue source for RIM, it doesn’t address the drop in sales of BlackBerrys.  According to Reuters, “RIM’s slice of the lucrative U.S. smartphone market fell to 9 percent in the third quarter, down from 24 percent a year earlier.”  IT departments that don’t use Fusion and still insist on BlackBerrys will have users with institutional devices that are quickly becoming a minority platform.  Why is that a big deal, after all everything will be secure?  Well a minority platform will have less work related apps meaning it will become increasingly less relevant  and more employees will be double carrying (using both a BlackBerry and an iPhone or Android) which doesn’t help with security. 

Hopefully this Spring and Summer, some of you hospital librarians will be able to use your Apple devices thanks to your IT department and Fusion.

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