BlackBerry has long been the smartphone platform of choice for enterprise customers, thanks to strong security features. But as smartphones become more common and more powerful, people are using them to do things that could be big security risks for corporate IT folks, such as surfing the web, chatting on IM, or visiting Facebook.
Research in Motion plans to launch a new service called BlackBerry Balance within the next two months that will address this dichotomy by allowing BlackBerry users to essentially maintain two separate profiles on their devices: One personal, the other professional. This will let the IT folks at your job make sue that business email and messaging services remain secure, while allowing you to surf the web, send personal email, or perform other activities without having to go through the company server.
RIM is hoping BlckBerry Balance will help stave off competition from the iPhone and Android devices… but I’m not quite sure how it’s supposed to do that. A growing number of IT departments cave in to employees’ desire to use those phones instead of BlackBerry phones with tighter security and I don’t think telling users that they can now visit Facebook on a BlackBerry without jeopardizing company secrets will really do much to stop that.
Update: CIO snagged a few screenshots that show how the service will work. For instance, your corporate IT manager will be able to remotely wipe data on your phone — without affecting your personal data.