Signs of a Maturing MDM Market Begin to Surface

The quickly-growing market for mobile management solutions is beginning to stabilize around a few major players, according to new data from VDC Research.

The mobile device management (MDM) market's days of seemingly endless possibilities may be drawing to an end for some vendors.

Although the enterprise mobility management (EMM) space continues to grow briskly, there are signs that the market is settling into familiar patterns, according to Natick, Mass. analyst firm VDC Research. "Consolidation in 2013 and 2014 has produced a clearly divided market between Tier 1 vendors (who account for roughly 77 percent of the market) and all others," the company said in a statement.

"The EMM market's quick maturation has led to notable parity," observed the group.

But there's no time to rest on one's laurels. "Competitive pressures make shortening innovation cycles and getting products to market more quickly crucial for EMM vendors to maintain momentum in the market," stated VDC.

After a period of torrid growth and non-stop innovation, the market has chosen its pecking order.

"VDC's analysis showed that there are currently seven Tier 1 vendors in the EMM market (AirWatch [VMware], BlackBerry, Citrix, Good Technology, IBM, MobileIron, and SAP), and these vendors each hold more than a 5 percent market share," continued VDC. Tier 2 companies, specifically Globo, LANDesk/Wavelink, Microsoft and SOTI, "will be challenged to compete going forward," the company predicted.

"Traditional endpoint management vendors such as Accelerite, IBM, Microsoft, and LANDesk have a rich history of delivering proven enterprise-grade solutions, but have only recently augmented their product portfolios with mobility management functionality," said VDC's Eric Klein, director of Enterprise Mobility and Connected Devices at the firm, in a statement. "VDC sees these vendors having an opening for broader participation in the market going forward."

Meanwhile, securing mobile devices and the critical business data they contain has become a priority as enterprises roll out their mobile initiatives.

According to a recent forecast from International Data Corporation (IDC), mobile workers will account for 72.3 percent of the U.S. workforce by 2020. In total, there will be 105.4 million workers that businesses will presumably want to provide with secure access to data and IT services.

Seeking to satisfy growing demand for solutions that address stricter corporate data protection, compliance and security requirements, partnership opportunities abound for authentication and access control specialists. "Sophisticated application management, threat protection as well as secure cloud SSO [single sign-on], and identity lifecycle management capabilities are the key features we see EMM vendors integrating through partnerships," said VDC.

Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at Datamation. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Tags: mobile device management, MDM

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