Find a Tablet’s Dangers to the Enterprise

This is the year when everyone is going to demand to be equipped with a tablet. Users in the corporate world will ask for RIM’s recently launched Playbook, a potentially  game-changing BlackBerry accessory that could lead to some great on-the-road productivity.

But wait. Apparently we have some issues. CIO’s Al Sacco  uncovered an infrastructural oversight in the PlayBook that’s precisely the kind of thing we have to watch out for as we hand out gadgets to the teeming masses.

RIM’s tablet does not offer a secure channel back to the BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) Mobile Data Service (MDS)–unless you’re connected to a corporate VPN via WiFi. (The BlackBerry MDS is a component of BES that lets administrators add, manage and secure BlackBerry applications.) In short: While enterprise PlayBook users should be able to securely download and view corporate data via business applications, they’ll be unable to send any data back to back-end systems via RIM’s tablet without a VPN connection via a WiFi network. When it comes to enterprise apps that access corporate systems–think: ERP, CRM, etc–the initial version of the PlayBook tablet will be nothing more than a seven-inch display for viewing data, unless you have access to a WiFi network and VPN.

This is great insight, and you should use it as inspiration to do extra-deep research before committing to any new round of purchases. As businesses demand more mobile apps and devices to access them, security must come first. Take your time.

— Don Willmott