A conference call with four chief information officers organized by Morgan Stanley’s Kathryn Huberty last week might have confirmed your worst fears.
Of the four guests, only one — the CIO of a multi-billion dollar company who runs a Mac shop for the “creatives” who work there — actively supports the iPhone.
The other three dismissed the device with varying degrees of curiosity and contempt.
- “[Our company] doesn’t explicitly prevent employees from using the iPhone,” said one veteren CIO. “But we don’t support it through the help desk. So if there’s a problem we won’t help them with the issue.”
- “Frankly,” added a second, “some management in our organization think it’s more of a toy/gimmick thing because of the way it’s marketed.”
- The third summed up the posture of his department as “Use [it] at your own cost and peril.”
What, exactly did these IT professionals see as the iPhone’s shortcomings?
The most detailed answer came from Timothy Campos, the former CIO of KLA-Tencor (KLAC), a leading supplier of semiconductor yield enhancement equipment based in Milpitas, Calif.:
That sentiment got dittos across the board. But in the current economic climate — which has put constraints on IT spending at all four companies — these managers are not looking to complicate their lives.
“We might have taken it on if it weren’t for the downturn,” said the managing director of IT at a ceramics manufacturing company that already supports two mobile platforms — BlackBerry and Palm. His department was thinking of adding the iPhone to the mix. But “that was one of the projects we didn’t need to take on,” he said.
Apple can take comfort in the fact that IT’s resistance to change is generalized and not restricted to the iPhone. Three of these four shops are still running Microsoft’s (MSFT) Windows XP — with no plans to move up to either Vista or Windows 7.
Photo: Apple Inc.