BlackBerry devices may have been replaced in many corporate and government environments, but its software will live on -- even in iOS and Android phones.
BlackBerry announced an offering for iOS and Android-powered smartphones called Secure Work Space, which is a platform that allows government agencies and corporations to secure devices on their networks through BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10. In other words, even if the client has an Android or iOS phone, this software will be managed by BlackBerry to make sure it's secure enough for the workplace.
As bring your own device (BYOD) trends become more popular, and as both corporations and government entities deploy iOS and Android devices, employees are keeping both personal and work-related content on one device. This can pose a problem, either leaving important or confidential work information vulnerable or making employees feel like their overheads are keeping an eye on personal content.
BlackBerry's Secure Work Space solves these issues by keeping personal and work-related content separate. This gives employers access to important work information on the phones while keeping them out of the employee's personal apps, photos, messages, etc.
Secure Work Space also means that clients don't need to configure or manage virtual private networks (VPN), which can be expensive and give access to data behind corporate firewalls.
"Secure work space also offers the same end-to-end encryption for data in transit as we have offered on BlackBerry for many years, so there is no need for a VPN," said Peter Devenyi, head of enterprise software at BlackBerry.
This could be great news for all parties involved, considering clients could enjoy any device they want without worrying about iOS or Android's security level; Apple and Android get to tap into the corporate and government markets, and BlackBerry still gets to stay relevant in these sectors as well.
BlackBerry has been pushed aside in many corporate and government environments in favor of iOS and Android recently. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) ditched their BlackBerrys in May 2012 in favor of iPhones while the Immigration and Customs Enforcement followed suit in September. In October, the Defense Department left its BlackBerrys behind and chose to go with Android and Apple devices instead while the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) left BlackBerry for a new fleet of iPhone 5s.
Just last month, the U.S. Defense Department announced that it will open its communications networks to iOS and Android devices by next February.
However, BlackBerry is attempting to make a comeback with its new BlackBerry 10 software and line of devices. The new line was announced in January 2013, and the new Z10 was recently put up for pre-sale by AT&T. It will ship on March 22.
BlackBerry plans to have Secure Work Space available before the end of June.