The iPhone’s in the Office

Thank you, BusinessWeek, for finally acknowledging that the iPhone is making serious inroads in the business environment. A survey from Osterman Research found 20 percent of large and mid-sized companies supported the iPhone last year, but that 44 percent plan to support it this year.

So, the magazine has taken an extensive look at what iPhone has that business needs. For one thing, iPhone 3.0, out in June, adds the kind of security and management features corporate IT demands. That’s good timing because it looks like employees are simply demanding their companies get on board. BlackBerries may still rule, but iPhone fanatics can’t be pried away from their babies. IDC says 40 percent of smartphone purchases are now made my individuals rather than corporations, and last year 7.3 million smartphones came into the American workplace.

Expect that number to rise to 21.5 million by 2012. And why not? If employees want to buy their own equipment, it’s just one more way for the company to save money – as long as it can support the technology.

To hear a BusinessWeek podcast about iPhones in the workplace, go here. And to take a fresh look at cool iPhone apps for businesss, check out this list.

–Don Willmott