iPhone 5: Pros and cons in the enterprise

If the iPhone 5 sells as well as analysts predict, its impact on IT shops wrestling with the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend could be dramatic.

According to some analysts, enterprise use of the new iPhone, which is capable of connecting to 4G LTE networks, will increase security risks and result in higher data charges on cellphone bills.

On the other hand, some IT managers said the iPhone 5 will be manageable, in terms of both security and cost. One CIO said it might even be a boon to worker productivity.

"Business runs in real time, and workers want to do things fast. The iPhone 5's LTE can provide that real-time capability," said SAP CIO Oliver Bussmann. "The future is a mobile one, and we're constantly looking at any desktop app that we can move to mobile."

Bussmann said he supports more than 60,000 workers globally and manages more than 40,000 smartphones and tablets. Around 13,000 of the smartphones are iPhones. Like many large corporations, SAP negotiates flat data rates with carriers, Bussmann said.

Terex, a global manufacturer with 1,000 smartphone users, already supports the iPhone and Android phones under a BYOD framework. "The iPhone 5 won't change our thinking," said Terex CIO Greg Fell. "We'll keep buying them."

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Alex Yoyn, assistant director of technology for West Virginia University, said some of the college's 30,000 students have expressed interest in the iPhone 5. But the main campus in Morgantown, W.Va., doesn't have LTE service, which diminishes the new device's appeal.

While some CIOs seem unconcerned, some analysts cautioned that the new iPhone could cause problems for businesses. For example, Rob Enderle, an analyst at Enderle Group, said the ease of sharing photos with the new device could lead to pictures of unannounced products "[finding] their way out of the company more frequently."

This version of this story was originally published in Computerworld's print edition. It was adapted from an article that appeared earlier on Computerworld.com.

Read more about consumerization of it in Computerworld's Consumerization of IT Topic Center.

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