With the recent discussions about Apps and how consumers want the freedom to find, evaluate, and purchase Apps for their Smartphones, I wonder how many users are able download and use a productivity application and how many have policies that prevent them from doing so.

If you found a productivity application for your mobile device that was proven to increase your performance, would you: a) be allowed to install it? b) encounter resistance (or refusal) from IT to allow you to install it? c) make a business case to management for why this App should be allowed?

Please take a moment and vote in one of the two quick polls below, then scroll down to share your comments.

Update: The survey is now closed. View the results below


I'm not asking whether you think Smartphones connected to enterprise systems should be locked down or not - there are many valid arguments for both sides of that discussion. What I most want to know is what the current climate is like when it comes to productivity applications on mobile devices and what organizations are doing to encourage/permit or discourage/restrict users from downloading and using productivity applications on their mobile devices.

Update: I split the question into two separate polls because otherwise the results could be skewed in favor of the iPhone/Android as these devices are often unmanaged/uncontrolled in the enterprise.

Discussion/Comments (15):

Eric Mack (http://www.ica.com): 8/7/2010 3:18:07 PM
Does your employer allow you to use productivity Apps on your Blackberry, iPhone or Android?

For those of you that selected "Yes, but only if it's on the approved Apps list", I'm curious what's involved in getting an app on your organization's approved list? Is it a decision made by IT based on their concerns or by management based on performance improvement?

Scott Allen (http://ScottSocialMediaAllen.com): 8/7/2010 6:15:32 PM
Company size may bias these results

Just be aware that if people from smaller organizations that have little or no IT controls in place answer this, the results will be skewed. It would be nice to at least know employer size as another variable to see the (almost certain) correlation.

Eric Mack (www.ica.com): 8/7/2010 6:33:38 PM
re: Company size may bias these results

I agree, Scott. There are so many factors that could influence user responses. At the core, I'd want to know if the device is company or individually owned and IT manages the device and what controls it places on them. I plan to explore this in the future. Thanks for the feedback.

Stephan H. Wissel (http://www.wissel.net/): 8/7/2010 9:45:36 PM
I work for a rather large organization :-)

I work for a rather large organization :-)

We pay for our smart devices ourselves. If IT would try to lock down privately owned equipment the forks and torches would come out. However we do have a security standard in place that is the prerequisite to access the corporate network (local data encryption, password strength and frequency of password changes as well as remote wipe capability). We do have people you can consult about applications.

Eric Mack (www.ica.com): 8/7/2010 9:52:05 PM
re: I work for a rather large organization :-)

Stephan, based on what you wrote, if you found a way-cool app on the BlackBerry store -- one that talked to your email, calendar, and contacts -- would you be permitted to download and run it on your Blackberry? Or, would you need approval of some kind to run apps that talk to PIM data. If so, what would that look like?

And, since you do work for a rather large organization :-) are there different policies for iPhone/iPad and Android or is it the same for all? Thanks for your comments!

Stephan H. Wissel (http://www.wissel.net/): 8/8/2010 1:51:24 AM
Does your employer allow you to use productivity Apps on your Blackberry, iPhone or Android?

I can download and run it. I have apps that do that today: LinkedIn, Facebook, TripIt just to name a few. The day our admin would prohibit me doing so would be the day I dump the Blackberry.

loafingcactus (http://www.loafingcactus.typepad.com): 8/8/2010 10:46:41 AM
Does your employer allow you to use productivity Apps on your Blackberry, iPhone or Android?

Not only are we not allowed to use productivity apps, but any use of productivity apps on our private devices are viewed with suspicion. I could have taken my whole customer list and product development plan home in my paper planner and no one would batted an eye, but I just put some phone numbers I needed on the road into my personnel device (before my company provided mobile devices) and was told to delete them when management discovered my telephone efficiency.

Alan (): 8/9/2010 12:32:46 AM
Does your employer allow you to use productivity Apps on your Blackberry, iPhone or Android?

The only policy on our smartphones is to enable remote kill for audit/security purposes and to enforce a passcode.

We use Blackberry, WMDs, Android, and iPhone backended with mSuite, BES, and Traveler. Whilst these are company-supplied devices we place no restrictions on installing apps, on the understanding that they are not supported and that the users pay for them themselves. We do not allow non-company-supplied devices to connect to our network.

The policy decision was made based on the fact we also allow personal use of the smartphones for calls/SMS and given the relatively senior profile of the users we felt it was unfair/impractical to ask them to carry two devices. When they get their device they are told to back it up/transfer purchases regularly due to our remote kill capability.

Les McKeown (http://PredictableSuccess.com/): 8/9/2010 6:13:45 AM
Does your employer allow you to use productivity Apps on your Blackberry, iPhone or Android?

Funny enough, I just wrote about this today:

A workshop participant proudly explained to me how he had shut down the use of IM, Twitter, Facebook and other 'time-wasting' applications on his company's network and company-issued cell-phones.

I shared with him how he could harness those applications to improve external and internal communications, rather than view them as 'time-wasting'. He said:

"I don't want my people being productive in ways I don't understand."


Adam (): 8/15/2010 12:19:15 PM
Does your employer allow you to use productivity Apps on your Blackberry, iPhone or Android?

Being a part of a smaller business where there are a total of 20 technicians and 8 office employees, there are no controls in place. I had a Blackberry and now have an Android-enabled phone. There is no policy in place, except to not charge anything to the company account.

Brian Green (): 9/5/2010 10:16:27 PM
Does your employer allow you to use productivity Apps on your Blackberry, iPhone or Android?

Now that we have a Lotus Traveler server here, and users have an option to renew their Blackberry contract or switch to iPhone, they are all switching. The main reason is for applications and ease of use. We also added 3 iPads this month.

I have not seen any interest here in Android but that could change too.

Eric Mack (http://www.ica.com): 9/5/2010 10:17:18 PM
Thank you, everyone, for your feedback!

Very helpful

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