In recent years, the mobile device market has skyrocketed, with more consumers purchasing smartphones and tablets and using them for a variety of functions. This has led directly to the age of bring your own device (BYOD) and enterprise mobility, with employees wanting to use their own devices on the job.
As a result of the growing popularity of BYOD, the demand for mobile device management (MDM) solutions has also increased. These tools help IT better monitor, control and secure personal devices. While many businesses have yet to adopt such solutions, experts believe the market will grow as more corporate decision-makers realize the utility of MDM. Fiberlink’s cloud-based solution, MaaS360, has already gained substantial recognition for its ease of use and security and compliance features
To many the question still remains: where is the mobile market and its management technology headed?
MDM growth imminent
A new study from TechNavio revealed the MDM market will experience steady, massive increases in the coming years. TechNavio predicts MDM software revenues to increase at a compound annual growth rate of nearly 32 percent between 2011 and 2015 in the United States alone.
The research firm attributed this growth to the relentless increases of mobile device sales, especially those powered by software from Apple and Google. An important note in the history of MDM is that in years past, most devices used in the enterprise were procured by the companies, and Research In Motion's BlackBerry smartphone dominated the market.
RIM's smartphones have always been modeled for enterprise use, making it much easier for CIOs and IT personnel to support, control, monitor and secure them. Now, the consumerization of IT, and the subsequent drop in BlackBerry sales, has led to a much more complex enterprise mobility landscape. And, as necessity is the mother of invention, MDM will grow rapidly alongside the massive popularity of iPhones, iPads and Android-powered devices.
Cloud MDM looms over on-prem alternates
Recent research from Computerworld found that smartphones now account for half of connected devices in the United States, while tablets make up 15 percent of connected devices. This puts personal computers at 35 percent, and illustrates just how quickly the IT world is moving toward an entirely mobile landscape.
The source asserted that cloud-powered MDM solutions will be preferred over on-premsis alternates in the years that come. This prediction has been supported by several other experts, including Gartner, which recently identified MaaS360 as an MDM industry leader in its Magic Quadrant report. Cloud-powered MDM gives companies the scalability, flexibility and controls needed for successful enterprise mobility.
BYOD minus MDM equals OMG
Despite the widespread penetration of BYOD, many businesses yet to procure an MDM solution, leaving them in a very precarious position. Recent studies have shown that too many companies have allowed employees to use their personal devices for enterprise functions without any support.
The security threats that arise by permitting BYOD with the absence of device support are very real. Twenty-three percent of respondents to a B2B International and Kaspersky Lab survey cited losing business data following the loss or theft of a smartphone or tablet. The same report indicated that a mere 11 percent of companies are currently using MDM, while other studies indicate more than two-third of small businesses allow BYOD.
Surprisingly, respondents to the B2B International survey largely cited concerns regarding security of mobile devices, though few are doing anything about it. As information has long been considered the lifeblood of every organization - an adage that has become even truer in recent years - businesses will need to turn to MDM solutions to secure and support employee devices.