Monday, June 2, 2014


What is the market Definition or Description of Mobile Device Management?

Enterprise mobile device management (MDM) software is:

(1)  A policy and configuration management tool for mobile handheld devices (smartphones and tablets based on smartphone OSs), and

(2)  An enterprise mobile solution for securing and enabling enterprise users and content. It helps enterprises manage the transition to a more complex mobile computing and communications environment by supporting security, network services, and software and hardware management across multiple OS platforms and now sometimes laptop and ultrabooks. This is especially important as bring your own device (BYOD) initiatives and advanced wireless computing becomes the focus of many enterprises. MDM can support corporate-owned as well as personal devices, and helps support a more complex and heterogeneous environment.

Criteria to consider when choosing an MDM solution:

Internal resources for management — Most MDM purchases are 500 devices or fewer. The size of the company doesn't really matter here as much as the internal resource capabilities to manage devices.

Complexity of data — Gartner's position is that any enterprise data needs to be protected and managed. MDM is a start, by enforcing enterprise policy around encryption and authentication.  Containers should be used to manage email and other mobile content, like file sharing, or enterprise apps, like sales force automation (SFA). These are also delivered by MDM vendors.

Cross-platform needs - More than ever, companies will begin to support multiple OSs. Although today Apple dominates smartphone sales in the enterprise, users will want to bring a variety of other devices to work that MDM providers can manage in an integrated fashion. Once your company has such a diverse environment, MDM becomes a necessity.

Delivery — Companies need to decide on whether they want MDM on-premises or in a SaaS/cloud model. SMBs prefer the SaaS model because it reduces the cost and total cost of ownership, based on having hardware to support fewer users. Large companies that are comfortable with the cloud model, usually in non-regulated markets, also are moving toward SaaS. In a global, highly distributed environment, they also like the appeal of the reduction in hardware and server management that cloud brings, versus on-premises servers. MDM managed services are also emerging, but are currently limited in scope and adopt.

Caution/factors before moving onto MDM:

Most companies started out using EAS to manage their devices, but found it lacking in the following areas, which pushed them to purchase a more complete MDM suite:

Volume of devices: It is difficult to manage a larger volume of devices on EAS. Once companies got to more than 500 devices, they typically looked for a more complete MDM suite.

Mix of platforms: Companies that had two or more mobile OS platforms to manage found it difficult to do so on EAS.

Granular support/policy: More complete MDM systems offer a deeper management capability, with more-detailed policies. For example, EAS allows passwords to be enforced (depending on the mobile OS), but more-comprehensive MDM systems allow more flexibility in the password type, length and complexity.

Reporting: EAS is very weak on device reporting. Companies that wanted better reporting moved to more complete MDM systems.

Ability to block certain device platforms: Companies may want to restrict the types of mobile OSs they will support.

Need to identify rooted/jail broken devices: There is concern over rooted or jail broken devices because companies cannot control their data if devices are compromised.

Advanced capabilities to manage mobile apps: Application provisioning and updating are important to companies today.

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