More government agencies drop BlackBerry as preferred mobile device

The mobile device marketplace today is dominated by Apple and Android devices. All of the holiday shopping trends surrounded these devices, as well as the freshly introduced Microsoft gadgets. Many of these smartphones and tablets are on the top of wish lists, meaning IT departments will soon be addressing the best ways to incorporate them into their workflows.

However, if you were to look back a few years, the undisputed king of the mountain was BlackBerry and now it’s an afterthought in a market it helped create. In the beginning, Research in Motion – the company that created the device – had the market cornered on mobile devices for business use.

For any professional that had a need to stay connected to corporate email, BlackBerry was the only option. Because of this, many government agencies adopted the devices as mandatory business tools. Unfortunately for RIM, the competition has also realized the importance of business functionality and RIM has lost its edge.

The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) department – which houses 17,600 employees – started allowing its employees to use iPhones for business use a few months back and now the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has announced that its 400 employees would be switching to iPhones.

The reasons behind the NTSB move does not offer a silver lining for RIM. According to the procurement document filled out by the department, the BlackBerry is noted as failing at inopportune times and at an unacceptable rate.

“The NTSB requires effective, reliable and stable communication capabilities to carryout its primary investigative mission and to ensure employee safety in remote locations,” the procurement document added.

The NTSB is a smaller organization with limited resources and its decisions can easily parallel those of other small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs). IT consulting firms can help SMBs deploy a mobile solution efficiently.

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