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The soon-to-be-released BlackBerry PRIV is an Android-powered smartphone that aims to address some of the data and privacy concerns of organizations that have yet to align with a formal enterprise mobility policy. The release of a smartphone built on Android, one of the most popular mobile operating systems, is a positive move from BlackBerry, but encouraging wider enterprise adoption will be a challenge.

Hardware and software security features will appeal to security-conscious organizations

Security and data privacy are two major hurdles for organizations exploring alignment with a formal enterprise mobility strategy. Often, many fall at this hurdle, and any initiative to adopt a formal approach to support the ever-increasing mobile workforce fails. Recent Ovum research, for example, shows that of those employees that use their own smartphone for work purposes, 27% are doing so directly against stated corporate policy, and 22% are doing so in an unmanaged fashion. This can lead to a disparity and disconnect between IT and the business. Security and data privacy are a real concern, however; for example, a recent study conducted by Cambridge University found that 87% of Android devices are not secure (see "Further reading" section for details on this study).

The BlackBerry PRIV boasts both hardware and software security capabilities, introduced to help alleviate some of the privacy concerns held by enterprises that may be looking at aligning with a formal enterprise mobility strategy. The PRIV is also compatible with Android for Work, technology that enables users to separate work and personal apps. PRIV can also be integrated with BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) 12 in the same manner as any other Android device. Ensuring that integration with BES is seamless and requires little in the way of manual configuration represents a key opportunity for BlackBerry, as the adoption of PRIV could help to grow BES 12 and position it as a strong cross-platform enterprise mobility management (EMM) software solution. Ovum believes that BlackBerry's primary future opportunity lies in mobile security software and services, such as those offered via BES.

To help users better secure personal data, BlackBerry has developed DTEK, a new capability pre-installed on all PRIV smartphones. The app automatically monitors apps installed on the device in real time – delivering an overall security rating for the device. This is a welcome feature from the enterprise perspective. Being able to reference this information and security rating via a centralized mobile device management system will further strengthen an organization's ability to manage the security of its managed mobile estate.


Further reading

Security Metrics for the Android Ecosystem, Daniel R. Thomas, Alastair R. Beresford, and Andrew Rice, Cambridge University, 2015

Beyond BYOD: How Businesses Might COPE With Mobility, IT0021-000008 (May 2014)

Ovum Interactive Decision Matrix: Enterprise Mobility Management, 2014–15, IT0021-000075 (April 2015)

Ovum Decision Matrix: Selecting a Mobile App Development Platform Solution, 2015–16, IT0022-000223 (February 2015)

Aligning Mobility Strategies with Data Privacy and Tax Regulations, IT0021-000094 (August 2015)


Adam Holtby, Research Analyst, Enterprise Mobility and Productivity Software

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