That’s according to Robyn Milham, Head of Enterprise Sales for Southern Africa at Research In Motion (RIM), the company behind the BlackBerry solution. She says enterprise users especially are adopting the cloud as a way to drive down IT operations costs, improve the resilience and flexibility of their IT infrastructures and ensure that their users have access to mission-critical data applications and data wherever they are.
Research from IDC indicates that 63% of South African companies have already started moving some applications to the cloud or plan to do so soon.
“The technology behind cloud computing is not completely new,” says Milham. “RIM has used a cloud-like infrastructure for more than 10 years to deliver services such as push email and BBM (BlackBerry Messenger) to BlackBerry smartphone subscribers. But we are now seeing more applications move to the cloud as the mobile network infrastructure improves and businesses become more reliant on a range of mobile business applications.”
RIM is building on its expertise in cloud services by taking its product portfolio to the cloud with plans to build solutions and services for everything from enterprise mobility management to payments and credentials, she adds.
RIM launched three new cloud-based services to help businesses of all sizes to secure, manage and control BlackBerry smartphones in the cloud.
These include BlackBerry Protect which helps individuals or small office/home office users to secure and protect their smartphones; BlackBerry Management Center, which gives companies the ability to centrally manage and secure BlackBerry smartphones; and a cloud-based version of the BlackBerry Enterprise Service, which enables enterprise customers to deploy and manage BlackBerry smartphones in the cloud.
RIM is also working with partners such as Microsoft to align its solutions with their cloud-based services. For example, RIM and Microsoft have signed an agreement to make hosted BlackBerry Enterprise Service available for Microsoft Office 365, the cloud version of the Microsoft productivity suite.
Milham says that bandwidth constraints mean that mobile cloud services need to be highly efficient and optimised, which is an area of strength for RIM. RIM’s DataSmart technology – which enables BlackBerry smartphones to consume data far more efficiently than other platforms – will be a key advantage as users migrate to the cloud. BlackBerry smartphones can provide up to four times as much email and twice the Web browsing and social networking for the same amount of data as other leading smartphones.