Sunday, May 19, 2024

Mobile Device Management: Choosing a Vendor

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As mobile devices flood the workplace, the need to safely and effectively manage this logistical thicket fuels a rapidly growing market. Jeff Goldman details the process of choosing a vendor.

The mobile device management (MDM) market is growing rapidly. Forrester Research recently revised its prediction of the size of the market in 2015 from $3.9 billion to $6.6 billion. That’s a big revision.

A large part of that increase, the research firm said, will be driven by a shift from a focus on managing mobile devices and their security to building mobile app stores and managing the growing pool of apps and data on a growing range of smartphones and tablets.

Additionally, Gartner research vice president Phillip Redman said the need for MDM in the enterprise is being driven strongly by the current trend toward corporate bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies.

“When everything was BlackBerry … you didn’t really need a broad general mobile device management platform,” he said. “But since iOS is certainly the fastest growing platform in the enterprise today, and will be followed very quickly in the next couple of years with Android devices, it’s the variety of different OSes that need to be supported in the enterprise that’s really driving the need for MDM.”

And most employees, Redman said, understand that there’s going to be an inevitable tradeoff between being able to choose their own mobile device and giving their company access to the data on that device.

“You can’t treat every device and every piece of data the same way and, so, to segment that data based upon different levels of security; to segment the users based upon the different levels of security they may need; and then to make sure that you have the right practices in place for each of those different segments — that’s what an MDM platform can allow you to do,” he said.

Sifting the vendors

In choosing among the intimidatingly wide range of MDM offerings currently available, Redman said the first step is to clarify what your requirements are not just now but in the future, as well.

“Define what your priority is as far as which MDM components are most important for you. Today, a lot of it may be based on security, but as more and more corporate and non-corporate applications are being driven on these devices, software management and inventory management are going to become very, very important,” he said. “So think about not just today, but a 24-to-36-month timeframe.”

Read the rest about mobile device management at eSecurity Planet.

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