Enterprises should ditch BlackBerry, recommends Gartner
Enterprises should look for alternatives to BlackBerry smartphones and enterprise mobility management platforms over the next six months, according to a new Gartner report to clients authored by analyst Ken Dulaney. Gartner analyst Bill Menezes confirmed this in an email interview with Computerworld.
"Gartner recommends that our [BlackBerry enterprise] clients take no more than six months to consider and implement alternatives to BlackBerry. We're emphasizing that all clients should immediately ensure they have backup mobile data management plans and are at least testing alternative devices to BlackBerry," relayed Menezes.
This follows BlackBerry's (NASDAQ: BBRY) announcement earlier this month that it is writing off between $930 million and $960 million for unsold Z10 smartphone inventory and cutting 40 percent of its workforce.
Gartner plans to issue a report recommending a number of strategies to enterprise customers who use BlackBerry Enterprise Service and/or BlackBerry smartphones. The analyst said that enterprises have a six-month window to plan for and implement alternatives to BlackBerry.
At the same time, BlackBerry said (.pdf) that its BES 10 is gaining in the enterprise, with more than 25,000 actual or test servers installed, up from 19,000 in July. Earlier this year, BlackBerry said that BES 10 would manage and secure iOS and Android devices, as well as BlackBerrys, through its Secure Work Space platform.
"While our company goes through the necessary changes to create the best business model for our hardware business, we continue to see confidence from our customers through the increasing penetration of BES 10," commented BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins.
According to Steve Brasen, managing research director at Enterprise Management Associates, BlackBerry has an enterprise market share of 38 percent among firms with more than 10,000 employees, and a 33 percent market share among government and financial institutions.
Responding to the Gartner report, BlackBerry said in a statement emailed to FierceMobileIT: "Many of the conclusions by Gartner about the potential impact of a sale or other strategic alternatives are purely speculative. BlackBerry is restructuring and pursuing strategic alternatives to increase its focus on its core enterprise business. We remain steadfast in our mission to deliver the most secure and powerful mobile management solutions and smartphones to our customers."
Updated on Oct. 1, 2013, to include BlackBerry's statement regarding the Gartner report.