While I was attending a couple industry events a few weeks ago, one topic topped the chatter meter again and again. Mobile device management (MDM) is coming down the pike with the throttle open and the channel is getting excited about the opportunity. Now, some people would say that MDM and cloud are not related, but I would argue that cloud and the application access it enables are one of the drivers behind mobile adoption in the workplace, the same trend that is pushing MDM toward the forefront of technology line cards.
Not only are solution providers excited about the potential of MDM – it provides them with an even deeper reach into the environment of their customers as they pull mobile devices into managed service contracts – but they realize their customers are struggling to manage and security those devices, and desperately need support.
How big is this trend? Gartner just projected that 65% of enterprises are set to adopt MDM in the next four years. According to Gartner , “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. 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 advantage to solution providers is fairly clear, but MDM should be an expansion of services that IT businesses approach carefully. Like any monitoring and management solution, customers should not be your testing ground. Rather, make sure you’ve tested and created a strong delivery matrix for MDM (use your own business as a beta environment). After all, you are promising a lot to your customers in term of management, upgrades, security and more. Additionally, in the same study, Gartner warns solution providers to carefully vet their MDM choice. The research firm says it expects many extensive future refinements to MDM solutions, many of which have been somewhat rushed to market to meet demands. Make sure your choice is reliable, well-vetted and comes from a reputable provider.