The mobile device management (MDM) market is poised to grow dramatically over the next five years as the BYOD trend presses on, Gartner has projected.
In a recent research note, the analyst firm suggested that nearly two-thirds of all enterprises will adopt an MDM solution by 2017, as IT teams grapple to secure and monitor the growing number of smartphones and tablets pouring onto corporate networks.
"The era of the PC has ended. Employees are becoming more mobile and looking for ways to still be connected wherever work needs to be done," said Phil Redman, research vice president at Gartner, in the research note. "The convenience and productivity gains that mobile devices bring are too tempting for most companies and their employees. Securing corporate data on mobile devices is a big challenge, but one that companies must embrace."
The need for MDM is further fueled by the fact that most enterprises have to support a disparate group of devices and mobile operating systems. Apple's iOS software, according to Gartner, is one of the most widely adopted to-date, with Android, BlackBerry and now Microsoft's Windows 8 also added to the mix.
For solution providers, MDM represents a major growth opportunity over the next few years. But it's also just the first of many steps enterprise users will need to take to realize a fully secured and manageable mobile environment, according to Joel Osman, senior executive of Technology Labs at Accenture and an SAP partner in the mobile software space. Osman, in an interview with CRN, referred to MDM solutions as "foundational;" they are a must-have for enterprises looking to secure their BYOD landscapes, but must be followed up with additional tools for managing the actual data and applications that are hosted on users' mobile devices.
"You need to think about MDM and then MAM, which is mobile application management. So a lot of our mobile device offerings in the marketplace have two faces. There's core MDM for securing devices and that's what IT and IT security is interested in. And, the other half of our offering is our Enterprise Application Catalog," Osman told CRN earlier this year, describing the catalog as a hosted service from which clients can access, deploy, and manage their mobile apps.
Gartner also noted that MDM platforms will become sophisticated over time, offering new capabilities for application and data management, on top of the device-level security they already provide.
"MDM vendors are moving beyond security, to support enterprise and third-party applications, data and content," Redmond said. "In the next two years, we will continue to see MDM platforms broaden out and become more enterprise mobile system management platforms, not just for devices alone."
PUBLISHED NOV. 1, 2012