Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Evolution of the Enterprise Managed Mobility Sector

Businesses smartphone users are moving away from BlackBerry, and the rise of the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) phenomenon is making mobile device management (MDM) one of the hottest markets for enterprise IT, according to the latest market study by Ovum.

The challenge for already busy CIOs is how to manage and secure data, while exploiting the innovation and productivity benefits that embracing the major smartphone platforms can deliver.

In its latest Solutions Guide, Ovum reveals that no longer is MDM purely the domain of specialist enterprise mobility vendors. Vendors from a variety of backgrounds across the IT and telecoms space are looking to grab clients in this market -- as it becomes a gateway to a larger enterprise managed mobility sector.

The guide also highlights strong support for remote device security capabilities across a range of mobile operating systems. However, limitations of the major operating system (OS) platforms are preventing vendors and enterprises from implementing consistent remote management and data security strategies.

"Protecting the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of corporate information, is a key concern of the IT department," explains Richard Absalom, analyst at Ovum. "We’re seeing vendors rush to exploit the fact that most organizations do not have the required resources or expertise to simultaneously manage corporate data on multiple platforms."

However, the limitations and lack of available APIs on these platforms are often the key factors stopping third-party vendors from providing exactly the same data security features across every OS.

Data collected by Ovum from the MDM vendors signals that in the workplace, Apple’s iOS is the preferred platform, with 40 percent of the devices managed on MDM platforms by enterprises.

Elsewhere, Google Android (16 percent) is still behind RIM BlackBerry (24 percent). As the momentum of BYOD continues, the sheer number of competing mobility products and solutions are leaving enterprises confused about what they should be looking for, and how they compare and differ.

According to Ovum's assessment, when selecting a vendor, organizations must consider their exact requirements, there is no one solution for all. Ultimately, enterprise IT departments must develop and implement new enterprise mobility policies that accommodate BYOD and consumerisation trends, and use MDM solutions to manage and enforce such policies.

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