Keeping business simple: BlackBerry’s rocky road to renewal

Keeping business simple: BlackBerry’s rocky road to renewal

This week I’m in New York to attend the BlackBerry Security Summit, where the company is laying out a path to profitability after several tough years.

BlackBerry is struggling to find relevance after losing its way when Apple and Android smashed their business model of providing secure, reliable and email friendly phones.

Now in a post-Snowden world, BlackBerry under new CEO John Chen is looking to rebuild the company’s fortunes on its strengths in security.

For small business fans of the BlackBerry system the new focus isn’t good news as the company’s emphasis is upon the big enterprise users, particularly in what Chen calls the ‘regulated industries’ — government, financial services, energy and health care.

Towards the end of the year, company executives believe the launch of the BlackBerry Cloud will give smaller business owners many of the features being offered to larger enterprises.

BlackBerry’s relaunch has some lessons for business in general: Keep it simple.

One of the aspects Chen’s team is emphasising is the simplicity of their software. Dan Dodge, who heads BlackBerry’s QNX embedded devices division says their operating system has 100,000 lines of code as opposed to hundreds of millions in Windows and Android.

That weakness in the established software packages is something illustrated in today’s story about a verification problem in Android due to reuse of old code from another older product.

Simplicity is strength is Dodge’s message and that idea could probably be applied to more than software.

In the complex times we live in, simplicity could be the key to success.

Paul travelled to New York as a guest of BlackBerry.

Paul Wallbank is the publisher of Networked Globe, his personal blog Decoding The New Economy charts how our society is changing in the connected century.

 

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