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.
Gartner analysts discussed the growing importance of mobile device management at Gartner Symposium/ITxpo, being held here through today.
"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. "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. Enterprises are struggling with how to support and secure this dynamic workforce."
Gartner predicts that through 2017, 90 percent of enterprises will have two or more mobile operating systems to support. In the past year, many companies have moved to Apple's iOS as their main mobile device platform, with others to follow over the next 12 to 18 months. As enterprises continue to offer multiplatform support, and new platforms — such as Windows 8 — continue to emerge, MDM needs will continue to grow.
As one of the fastest-growing enterprise devices in the past 18 months, tablets are a further driving force for enterprises adopting MDM. Most companies and users are supporting the tablet for limited usage, typically for email and personal information management (PIM) functions. However, users are pushing for more enterprise applications to be supported on the tablet, usually through either enterprise or application provider development. As more of these native apps become available, 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.