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Forrester lays out 10 reasons why IT shouldn't support the iPhone

Concerns about security, price, features trump popularity, ease of use

By Al Sacco
December 14, 2007 12:00 PM ET

CIO - The Apple iPhone took the consumer mobile space by storm when it was released in June and quickly became one of the most popular smart phones available. Since then, business users who've purchased the device for their personal use have been asking their corporate IT departments to support it.

Whether the iPhone proves to be a valuable business tool or a nonissue for CIOs remains to be seen, but a new report from Forrester Research Inc. suggests that the iPhone may never get a chance to succeed in business. Forrester laid out 10 reasons IT departments should refuse to support the devices -- at least for now.

1. The iPhone Doesn't Allow Data to be Encrypted

There's currently no way for enterprises to secure sensitive data on iPhones through file or disk encryption, according to Forrester. There's also no way for IT to enforce password policies, since the decision to use a password -- and when to change it -- is up to the user.

2. The iPhone Does Not Natively Support "Push" Corporate E-mail or Wireless Calendar Syncing

Push e-mail that is delivered to handhelds upon receipt in a user's mailbox is an essential feature for a business device because of the productivity such a feature enables, Forrester said. If users need to physically retrieve messages -- instead of having those messages pushed directly to them -- they won't get them as quickly as possible, and they'll waste time in the process. The iPhone can sync with Microsoft Exchange and Lotus Notes over IMAP and SMTP, Forrester said, but IT infrastructure must be tweaked accordingly or a separate gateway product must be purchased -- and even then mail is delivered only every 15 minutes.

Apple's device also doesn't wirelessly sync with PCs, which means users must have access to the company's proprietary USB sync cable to retrieve calendar updates or contact changes, according to Forrester. If a meeting plan or location has been changed at the last minute, an iPhone user on the go could easily not get the notification in time.

This story is reprinted from CIO.com, an online resource for information executives. Story Copyright CXO Media Inc., 2012. All rights reserved.
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