The disturbing trend of federal agencies dumping the BlackBerry is continuing to grow and a rapid pace. This year alone there have been a total of 11,300 BlackBerry devices that are to be phased out by federal agencies. The latest of these agencies the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) is planning on phasing out its 3,800 BlackBerry devices for iPhones in less than a year. Rick Holgate ATF's chief information officer stated that they “We’re going to delete the BlackBerry from the mix,”.
The agencies reasoning behind the change was the lack of the BlackBerry devices functionality. “Video streaming, GPS capability, capabilities, the camera … a variety of things,” contributed to the decision Holgate said. “Yes, these things exist on BlackBerrys, but in terms of ease of use and adaptability of the devices, the iPhones are the more functional and compelling use case.”
The reasons for these massive changes range from cutting expenses, to lack of functionality on the BlackBerry device. The question that comes up is are these really legit reasons to make the switch. The answer is a solid no. Most organizations are always looking for ways to save money. The problems is that they are sacrificing security and superior communication over saving a quick buck. Government agencies need to be looking at the big picture instead of the smaller scope of this years budget.
What about functionality? It's no secret that the BlackBerry device has lacked in this department over the past few years. However, I have to wonder if any of these decision makers have taken an in depth look at the functionality of the BlackBerry OS 7 devices, or the newly refreshed PlayBook OS 2.0. Recognizing that the BlackBerry device still has the functionality, but it's a little harder to implement and adopt is not a valid reason to make such a big decision.