Monday, January 23, 2006

Government Contractors told to relax about BlackBerry

Federal Computer Week writes the government contractors, who rely on their BlackBerries, should not worry about the possibility of losing access to the service, because "although the possible injunction is a real threat, many analysts regard it as unlikely."

Ellen Daley at Forrester Research said, "I feel like they're worrying unnecessarily, but they are worrying."

According to the article, Gartner Group places a 10 percent chance and Forrester a 2 percent chance that an injunction against RIM, will force the company to shut down its U.S. service.

Ken Dulaney at Gartner pointed out that "in case of a shutdown, the judge will create a strict rule defining which critical government employees and contractors can keep their service." He said, "it's tough to define what a government contractor is." For " subcontractors or others who work less directly with agencies and the waters grow murkier." Dulaney added, "I'm not convinced that this is a total disaster for anyone. It's just an inconvenience."

Ellen Daley at Forrester Research recommended all "organizations that use BlackBerries should assign one person to spend a week developing contingency plans. The planner should:

  • Identify and contact other vendors in case the companies need to move to another technology.
  • Develop a migration plan with a deployment timeline and prioritized list of who would receive new devices
  • Identify purchasing locations, including existing vendors.
  • Determine which wireless applications, other than e-mail clients, employees want to access via mobile devices