I was reading an online Time article today about the rise and fall of Blackberry (“How BlackBerry Went From World’s Hottest Tech Company to a Punchline”), and it made me wonder how some of the most brilliant captains of industry could fail to avert such a catastrophe. “As recently as 2009, BlackBerry was named by Fortune as the fastest growing company in the world, with earnings exploding by 84% a year. Since 2009, however, BlackBerry’s stock price has collapsed by a stomach-churning 90%…”
How could BlackBerry executive management let this happen? Part of the answer has to do with hubris – the delusion that enterprises that serve the market can steer the market. Time and time again, companies learn the hard way that markets go where they want.
BlackBerry built their empire on business communications, and “failed to anticipate that consumers — not business customers — would drive the smart phone revolution.” The fact is that consumers drive EVERY technology revolution, once the technology goes mainstream. Trying to separate business from consumer markets is a short-sighted strategy.
Now we’re dealing with another revolution that comes as an inevitable consequence of the blurring of lines between the business and consumer worlds – BYOD. There’s no use fighting it – it’s going to happen, and forward thinking organizations are rapidly adopting policies and processes to accommodate the use of personal communication devices for work.
Yes – it’s inconvenient and expensive for corporate IT departments to ramp up solutions necessary to protect corporate data on multiple mobile device types running multiple operating systems, but it’s necessary. Many organizations are choosing to outsource Mobility Management Services in order to get up and running quickly. These investments of time, effort, and expense are worth it for enterprises that want to remain competitive…and avoid becoming a punchline.