BlackBerry Z10: Striking the right balance for business

BlackBerry is also planning to offer a version of Balance to iOS and Android users, the company revealed at BEF, using its BlackBerry Enterprise Server offering.

It certainly looks like a smart move, and paves the way for the firm to increase its enterprise footprint without having to rely on people using its devices.

"We're a trusted platform that people are used to, and we wanted to provide [companies] with a unified console that will allow the wide range of devices out there to be managed," explained Brown.

IT departments can also use Balance to restrict the applications end users can download to the corporate workspace of their devices.

Securing the enterpriseBrown also talked IT Pro through some of the other precautions the company has taken to ensure the BlackBerry World app store remains malware-free, and safe to use for both consumers and business users.

These include a recently struck deal with anti-virus vendor Trend Micro, who has been tasked with scanning the store for malicious content and misbehaving apps.

"If we can see apps that aren't malicious, but feel they are accessing too much information, we will publish a privacy notice on our website [stating] this application seems to be doing more that it says it is," Brown added.

It's been difficult to provide them with an offering that hasn't meant giving them two phones.

Drew Evans, head of ICT at Aneurin Bevan Health Board in Wales, said his organisation already uses a lot of BlackBerry devices, as its care in the community staff need to access file shares, emails and calendars while out in the field.

Looking ahead, he's hopeful the Z10 will become part of the health board's IT strategy, claiming the introduction of the Balance software should provide its BYOD plans with a boost.

"We have the usual pressures from execs and other parts of the organisation who want the play [and corporate] aspect covered from a device perspective," Evans explained during a press briefing.

"But, it's been difficult to provide them with an offering that hasn't meant giving them two phones."

It remains to be seen if Balance, along with all of the other new features the Z10 boasts, will be enough to secure BlackBerry's standing in the enterprise once more.

However, the release of the firm's fourth quarter financial results on 28 March should provide us with some clues.

Caroline Donnelly is the news and analysis editor of IT Pro and its sister site Cloud Pro, and covers general news, as well as the storage, security, public sector, cloud and Microsoft beats. Caroline has been a member of the IT Pro/Cloud Pro team since March 2012, and has previously worked as a reporter at several B2B publications, including UK channel magazine CRN, and as features writer for local weekly newspaper, The Slough and Windsor Observer. She studied Medical Biochemistry at the University of Leicester and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism at PMA Training in 2006.