Over the next five years, 65 percent of enterprises will adopt a mobile device management (MDM) solution for their corporate liable users, according to Gartner, Inc. With the increased functionality of smartphones, and the increasing popularity of tablets, much of the network traffic and corporate data that was once the primary domain of enterprise PCs is now being shifted to mobile devices.
With most employees coming to work nowadays toting their smartphone, and or Tablet, and it makes sense for businesses to adopt MDM. With more and more enterprise apps coming on the market and as remote access technology improves, more enterprise content will be stored on these devices. Users are already synchronizing corporate content into public clouds for later retrieval on the devices.
Of course with mobile devices and clouds of data comes the issue of security. Gartner believes that, "by implementing a structured support system with varied support levels, IT organizations can shield business information and enforce policies about data movement between the device and the corporate network, while enabling users to adopt the device they deem most appropriate. Organizations will find it hard to achieve an efficient mobile-support system if all platforms are not managed the same way under enterprise requirements. Like PCs, mobile devices are forms of client access devices, and the policies for them should be similar in strength but optimized for mobile usage, to those governing PCs."
Garnter has even worked out three distinct device classes: trusted standard devices provided by the company, tolerated devices and non-supported devices. In this scenario, users are given a predefined list of supported technologies in each class, along with a budget for the projected amount that each selection consumes. Users can optimize the technologies according to their requirements without exceeding the budget. Expense limits and spending caps by individuals bypass the need to rely on subjective interpretations of "reasonable use."
"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. He predicts that through 2017, 90 percent of enterprises will have two or more mobile operating systems to support.