More Federal Agencies Move to iPhone/Google

President Obama fought to keep his Blackberry, others are shedding them.

By Scott McGrew
|  Thursday, Feb 16, 2012  |  Updated 6:05 AM PDT
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How Soon Until Obama Dumps His BlackBerry?

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President Barack Obama may be one of the most powerful men in the world, but he's also a regular guy who likes his Blackberry -- unlike some other federal employees who prefer their iPhones and Android devices.

President Obama loves his Blackberry smartphone so much, the White House had to make special arrangements to provide the president with a specially encrypted version for his personal use.

Mr. Obama told CNBC “I’m still clinging to my [phone]. They’re going to pry it out of my hands.” He may be one of the few federal employees who still wants the Canadian-made phone.

The General Services Administration just announced it will begin to allow thousands of its employees to "bring their own" technology to work in the form of iPhones and Android phones.

"The pressure is coming from interesting places," said IDG Enterprise Senior Vice President Bob Melk, Consumerization of IT in the Enterprise conference advisory board member. The pressure on companies to adopt iPhones started with GenY, but it's executives who bring in tablets.

"They're the ones with iPads who say, 'Hook me up.' " The CITE organziation said nearly all of the 2,000 companies it surveyed permit employees to use iPhones. 76% of companies allowed the use of iPads, which Melk says is astonishing when you consider how new the tablet computer is.

Earlier this week the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) would end its BlackBerry enterprise servers by May.

NOAA told the New York Times the cost of BlackBerry's service was too high -- though it declined to say how much it paid. It will instead use a combination of iPhone and Google Apps for Government, which charges a flat $50 per user, per year.

Many in the private sector have adopted the BYOT (bring your own technology) model to make employees happy. Bob Melk, head of the Consumerization of IT in the Enterprise conference says

And as for President Obama's BlackBerry? "He's a bit out of step" says Melk.

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