Apple and IBM recently announced a partnership to focus on the enterprise mobility ecosystem. The partnership could be a game changer for large companies, and it’s all about mobile security. While the news bodes well for corporations focused on using Apple products, it may leave small and medium businesses out of the equation.
Big data breaches spur big response
The announcement comes at a time when big data breaches are in the spotlight and priorities are starting to shift accordingly. In the first half of 2014, household names like eBay, Target, and Living Social have placed data and security at the top of the enterprise agenda. In the Ponemon Institute’s recent “State of Data-centric Security” report, 51% of senior IT respondents list “migration to new mobile platforms” as a key security concern keeping them up at night.
What the partnership is meant to accomplish
According to Apple and IBM, the partnership is focused around four key areas:
- A new class of more than 100 industry-specific enterprise solutions including native apps, developed exclusively from the ground up, for iPhone and iPad;
- Unique IBM cloud services optimized for iOS, including device management, security, analytics, and mobile integration;
- A new AppleCare® service and support offering tailored to the needs of the enterprise; and
- New, packaged offerings from IBM for device activation, supply, and management.
Small and medium companies may be left out
IBM’s notoriously large (and expensive) enterprise contracts focus on serving the needs of the Fortune 1000. While this bodes well for employees using Apple products and services, and consumers who might be affected by future data breaches, the partnership ignores small and medium businesses in need of secure storage and collaboration that integrates with mobile devices.
What to do next
Small- and medium-sized businesses can achieve the same level of collaboration and security without the big bills. Understanding what an organization needs may be as simple as focusing on what employees want to do with data and creating a simple security checklist.