I had the privilege last week of hosting a webinar with Andrew Borg from Aberdeen Research. In the webinar, Andrew presented findings published in their recently released research report Enterprise Mobility Management 2011: Mobility Becomes Core IT. You can view the webinar here or download the full Aberdeen research report here. As Andrew and I prepared for the webinar early last week we had some animated conversations regarding a few of the more surprising findings from the webinar. I thought I would share one here.
The diagram below (from the report) depicts the stages of the EMM mobile device lifecycle. The diagram is absolutely accurate but what the diagram doesn’t portray quite clearly is the pressure that the consumerization (or bring your own device, BYOD) trend is creating for IT departments. In the traditional top-down IT-driven model each of the three refresh cycles in this diagram can stretch over years. That seems manageable.
The reality with mobile devices, like iPhones, iPads, Android and BlackBerry devices, and who knows what next is quite different (see here). There will be new device refresh cycles being launched by the day (or even hour) in your organization as new mobile devices hit the market, devices are lost or stolen, employees receive new devices as gifts or as their current mobile network plans expire, or some hot new application shows up in the Android Market. Not so manageable anymore.
So what is a responsible mobile operations professional to do?
Well, if you take anything away from the findings of this research it is this: no organization should accept the risks of neglecting ANY of the phases of the EMM lifecycle. Each of the 6 phases of the lifecycle are necessary. So how are the best-in-class companies dealing with the realities of the perpetual mobile device refresh cycle, while simultaneously enjoying lower support and IT costs per mobile employee than organizations that are not best-in-class?
There are two clear areas where best-in-class organizations have differentiated themselves.
- Best-in-class organizations have adopted a process-driven approach to EMM, centrally managed by the IT organization
- Best-in-class organization have adopted Mobile Device Management platforms (like MaaS360) that automate key mobile device management workflows
The answer to the perpetual mobile device refresh cycle is NOT the perpetual change control cycle.