Can RIM's BlackBerry 10 bring it back from the brink of obscurity?

In a mobile security challenged world, Blackberry 10 might be just the ticket we've all been waiting for. Could it be that RIM is back in the game? Could be.
Written by Ken Hess, Contributor
Blackberry 10

Go back in time to Summer 2012. I was ready to write off RIM and the Blackberry platform as a part of IT history but not part of IT's future. I was wrong. Yes, there it is; I admit being wrong about Blackberry and RIM. RIM didn't give up and I'm glad that they didn't. I don't own a Blackberry anymore but I'll tell you one important thing about RIM's Blackberry: It's the most secure mobile platform. It's secure enough to gain the US Government's seal of approval.

Is it enough to bring RIM back from the brink of extinction?

I think so, although many industry analysts disagree.

My reasoning goes like this: Security is of utmost concern for businesses. Blackberry devices are the most secure. Therefore, businesses will again adopt Blackberry as the standard mobile phone platform. In fact, I foresee a lot of companies allowing BYOD as long as the "D" that you're bringing into the hallowed corporate halls is Blackberry branded.

Yes, I realize that Blackberry devices only make up about one percent of all mobile devices but that number will grow exponentially when CXOs wake up and smell the sweet aroma of its enhanced security.

Now, you might argue that no one is really hacking Blackberrys since they only have a small market share but think of that market share. Military, government and those who are concerned with security. Great targets for hack attempts, don't you think?

Well, there's a problem. Blackberry comes out of the box more secure than the most hardened version of iPhone or Android that you can produce on your own.

Blackberry Devices have five significant security features that make them the clear choice for anyone who wants or needs a secure mobile platform.

"Blackberry devices only make up about one percent of all mobile devices but that number will grow exponentially when CXOs wake up and smell the sweet aroma of its enhanced security."

  1. Blackberry Password - This is your device password and you set it under Settings -> Security and Privacy -> Device Password. What makes the Blackberry password significant is that unlike iPhone and Android, you can use letters, numbers, caps and symbols, which makes the password almost impossible to guess. An additional security measure related to this password: If you forget your password, you can reset it but it also wipes your device's data. So, you don't have to worry if your device is lost or stolen. No one can steal your data without your password.
  2. Blackberry ID - Kind of like an Apple ID but better, your Blackberry ID remembers all of your settings and apps so switching devices is easy. The security part of the Blackberry ID is that it allows you to protect the parts of your Blackberry that you want to protect.
  3. Blackberry Protect - In the same realm as Apple's iCloud, Blackberry Protect allows you to locate your Blackberry, lock it, play a sound to locate it and wipe it remotely, if needed. If your device is lost or stolen, the culprit has to enter your Blackberry Password to disable Protect. 
  4. Blackberry Balance - Because RIM knows about BYOD, your new Blackberry OS comes ready to serve your personal and your professional lives. You get two workspaces: personal and work. They're separate and distinct entities. And there's no need to fret about Big Brother watching you. When you're not at work, use your Personal phone for anything you want. At work, switch to your Work phone and let the corporate IT storm troopers have their way with it. Blackberry 10 is BYOD ready and BYOD friendly.
  5. Application Permissions - Application Permissions is a security feature that's built in to Blackberry 10 so that you can intelligently manage what things you allow your apps to "see." Location is one example. What if you don't want a camera app to know your location? You don't have to allow it. It's all about how much you want those pesky apps to know about you.

I don't know about you but I'm convinced that RIM has done a good job--make that a great job of creating a secure and a BYOD ready mobile platform.

To RIM: I am glad you're back. Godspeed.

To CXOs: You should definitely consider the Blackberry as the platform of choice for allowing users to share devices between work and personal use.

To BYODers: You should be happy that there's a mobile device that's made to be secure and allow you to use it at work. You now have a fully separate environment--one to play in and one to work in.

What do you think of RIM's newest release of the Blackberry OS and the new Blackberry device lineup? I have to say that I'm pretty darn impressed.

What improvements or changes would you like to see before you'd give up your Android or iPhone? Talk back and let me know.

See Also:

BlackBerry, Nokia: Recovering or collapsing? By the numbers

BlackBerry 10 is the first BlackBerry to fully support BYOD

BlackBerry 10 essentials: What you need to know

BlackBerry 10 and the Z10: 10 things I like and 5 things I don't

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