BlackBerry Business Users To Switch, Survey Says


A significant number of business users intend to switch from BlackBerry, a survey has revealed

A new survey from Enterprise Management Associates should be causing sleepless nights at Research in Motion.

It found that more than 30 percent of BlackBerry users in large enterprises (those with greater than 10,000 employees) expect to migrate to a different platform within the next year.

The research firm noted this represents a “significant” reduction from the platform’s current domination of the large enterprise market space, with 52 percent of mobile-device users in that demographic actively using a BlackBerry device as part of their job function.

User Dissatisfaction

The mass abandonment of BlackBerry devices is primarily due to a lack of user satisfaction, according to EMA. In fact, only 16 percent of respondents to EMA’s survey indicated they were completely satisfied with their BlackBerry smartphones, versus 44 percent of Apple iPhone users. Increasingly, employees are using their own mobile devices for business purposes, so end-user satisfaction is proportionally growing as a critical adoption consideration, the report noted.

“We expected to see some market-share loss by RIM, but these results were far more dramatic than we could have anticipated,” said Steve Brasen, EMA managing research director. “Both enterprises and employees indicated they were broadly abandoning BlackBerry devices for primarily Android and iOS platforms, and this data was collected before the recent BlackBerry service failures, which can be expected to even further accelerate migration.”

Business Tool

Research In Motion ushered in the first broad enterprise adoption of mobile devices with the 2003 introduction of the BlackBerry.

The company’s mobile devices quickly gained popularity for their ability to deliver email and other messaging capabilities to employees, replacing pager systems. To enable email delivery and other device-management functionality, RIM delivered the BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES). With broad investment in both BlackBerry devices and the BES management platform among particularly large businesses, RIM quickly grew to become the dominant player in enterprise mobile-device management.

The entire industry, however, was turned on its head when Apple introduced the first iPhone in 2007. Since then, the proliferation of iPhones and iPhone-like devices (most notably those built on Google’s open-source Android platforms) has slowly been chipping away at BlackBerry’s dominance of the enterprise space. The report concluded that now it appears that market-share loss is accelerating.

For the research, two separate surveys were performed: one focused on end users’ requirement and experiences, and the other designed to report on how enterprise IT managers are supporting the devices. Combined, the survey results provide a cross-section of enterprise mobile-device usage, trends, challenges and best practices across a range of business sizes and industry types.

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