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RIM caught between a rock and a hard place

RIM has increasingly found itself in the crosshairs of governments who want to have greater insight into BlackBerry data traveling across RIM’s bespoke network.

While other platforms tend to rely more upon less secure cloud services for content, the BlackBerry platform routes email, BBM and some other traffic through RIM’s network. This has the advantage of keeping it safe from prying eyes, but some governments are worried the internal security issues of not being able to view that data.

Without its strong data privacy and encryption, RIM’s BlackBerry would be a far weaker platform in the Enterprise space. Ironically in some of those emerging markets where governments are challenging RIM, having data privacy at an Enterprise level is all the more important since there might be fewer internal corporate controls regarding information dissemination, compared to more developed economies.

So while Enterprises in those countries are likely to be highly reliant upon privacy to guard their internal knowledge and competitive advantage, they are likely to lose some of that privacy if a country’s security is believed to be at risk.

What does this mean for RIM? Tough times ahead. I’d say it’s pretty certain that as more countries jump on this one it will become increasingly difficult for RIM to maintain lock and key over its data network. That doesn’t bode well for RIM’s competitive advantage at all.

Neil Berman

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Aug 8, 2010 - Posted by | Analysis, Mobile | , , , ,

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