Clorox Employees Choose Their Smartphone; 92% Pick iPhone

When Ralph Loura became CIO (chief information officer) of Clorox, he began replacing the BlackBerry smartphones in use at the company with a smartphone of the employees choosing. So far, according to a Computerworld interview, he has replaced 2,000 smartphones, and 1,840 of them (92%) were iPhones. Of the remaining 160, employees chose 120 Android devices (6%) and 40 Windows Phone 7 devices (2%).

Just to be clear, we’ll recap: Clorox is replacing the BlackBerry devices used by employees with smartphones of their choosing, and of the 2,000 devices that have been replaced so far, 92% of the company’s employees choose iPhones, 6% chose Android, and 2% chose Windows Phone 7.

“If you believe demographic studies,” Mr. Loura said, “the workforce in their 20s and 30s isn’t going to accept black corporate PCs with black corporate mobile phones and not be allowed to run Facebook or Angry Bird apps.”

The smartphone replacement choice was part of a broader project for Mr. Loura, who was faced with employees not happy with their company’s IT department and the Windows 2000 boxes on their desks and the BlackBerrys in their pockets. The executive replaced the PCs with new HP laptops and set about moving the company’s corporate data and information to the cloud, where it could accessed by smartphones.

“We live in public cloud for mail and messaging,” Mr. Loura told Computerworld. “I don’t have to worry about security because I don’t sync data to the iPhones. It remains in the cloud. My job is about how to be the chief risk officer, yet provide choice and flexibility. It’s about putting apps and logistics in the cloud and pushing the user interface to the edge.”

To that end, he has also been piloting iPad use at his company. He said that no one in the pilot program has yet asked to have their laptop replaced by an iPad, but that he believes tablet use will be widespread in the future.

“What I want [to do is] figure out how to take that business intelligence app or workflow app and figure out way to have it be accessed in an intuitive way from the iPad,” Mr. Loura said.