Tuesday, 3 August 2010

The Conundrum facing Blackberry

Interesting post by Mark Evans, suggesting how Blackberry could counter increased competition from Apple and Google.

I have a slightly different point of view. I would suggest that if they took the social openness path, they would risk alienating the core markets they serve.

The enterprise space values security and the locked down, closed system that the blackberry provides- they are not that much in favour of openness and of social network integration. This may also be because they are not sure of the security, reputational and the productivity ramifications of this openness. As long as enterprise behaviour is driven by this stance, and it currently clearly is, blackberry's interests would be best served by servicing the core markets which are their source of revenue and profitability, rather than go after an entirely different market that may or may not accept their new offers.

Yes, they can do more things as well. Blackberry currently battles increased government activism owing to its opacity- UAE has banned their devices, Saudi Arabia is following on its footsteps, and India has threatened a ban- the key reason being the Governments' ability to monitor terror networks. They should actively be working to ensure that they are able to continue to fulfil their core customer markets well, whilst continuing to meet higher regulatory compliance needs from increasingly strident governments- which will require significant changes in technology and policy. That is perhaps the more immediate challenge they face.

Over the longer run, as the enterprise space becomes more open (trends are clearly pointing towards that), they should start to worry about how to manage the issues that are being expressed in this post, which are clearly highly relevant, but not just yet!

in reference to:

"Should the Blackberry Go Social?"
- Should the Blackberry Go Social? | Social Media Today (view on Google Sidewiki)

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