So regardless of your political views, regardless of whether you're a citizen of the United States or not, there is no question that today was an absolutely historic day - at a glocal (not a typo) level. At noon EST, Barack Hussein Obama, became the 44th President of the United States. Random Trivia: He actually became President before he took the Oath of Office, because the Constitution says he became President at noon while the actual swearing-in happened a few minutes later. What's fascinating to me however, is that the man who is now "the most powerful person in the free world" had to fight to keep his BlackBerry.
My friends at Mobile Enterprise Magazine have an interesting little article on their website today about this. Bottom line, it looks like President Obamam will indeed be able to keep his BlackBerry, with certain limitations. The fascinating thing to me is how hard it was for him to keep his smartphone.
There are a bunch of potential issues that I don't actually want to cover here, but I want you to know I am thinking of them. First, the antiquated laws of the US Government and the NSA. Second, any potential legal issues from the content that Obama and his administration would send or receive from their mobile devices. Third, the fact that using a BlackBerry means that the information would pass through Canada...and no, they are not yet part of America ;-) In all seriousness, beyond the fact that Federal laws need to be updated from what was created in 1978, tell me why enterprise mobility management could not solve most, if not all, these issues????
- Mobile Procurement - I'm pretty sure there are a couple of people in the US Federal Government who could say there are one or two devices that could be used. Even if you have a problem with RIM because they are Canadian, then use Palm, Good or Windows Mobile....
- Mobile Device Management - These solutions could shut down the camera, Bluetooth functionality beyond using an earpiece, or any other physical aspects of the device that the Feds would have a problem with.
- Mobile Application Management - These solutions could remove applications (except Solitaire) that would be deemed "bad". Take out the Instant Messaging, take out SMS, don't allow applications to be installed by the user...you know where I am going.
- Mobile Security - Deploy anti-virus, mobile VPN, proxy server configurations, black lists in terms of web sites that can and can not be accessed. Block the WiFi access for fear of sniffers....but at least give them some 3G love!
- Mobile Service Management - The US Government has its own wireless networks...but yes, I know they run at different frequencies. However, I'm pretty sure that AT&T (assuming President Obama would want a GSM phone to roam internationally) would be MORE than willing to have an executive service team available to him 24 hours a day, seven days a week only two rings away. See where I am going with this?
- Wireless Expense Management - Last I checked, the Congressional Business Office is expecting the US will have a $1 TRILLION budget deficit next year. That's $1,000 Billion people. I'm thinking somewhere, they could use some wireless expense management services...
My point is that, while yes, the Government needs to have some legislative reforms pass to reach the 21st century, enterprises are already dealing with many similar issues that the Government is weary of...and if you don't think Steve Ballmer or any other CEO of multi-billion dollar company is going to expect security and service levels in the realm of what Obama would need...
So in my opinion, the technology is actually there to meet the security and reliabilty needs of the most powerful person in the free world. Now if we can only get the Feds to update their policies (where have you heard someone say that business and IT policies need to be more aligned????)...because clearly this is more important than fixing our economy ;-)
Again, whether you voted for Obama or not, may he have all the wisdom and luck required to have a tremendously successful Presidency. G*d knows we need him to have it.