"The rapid influx of users bringing their own consumer mobile devices that demand access to corporate resources presents challenges to organizations," said Mr. Redman. "However, 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."

Gartner believes that mobile device proliferation is inevitable and the only way that IT staff can maintain control is by separating mobile computing devices into 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."

"This is just the start for MDM. More data is being put on mobile devices, and enterprises are fast developing their own applications to support their mobile users. As mobile devices continue to displace traditional PCs, enterprises will look to their existing MDM systems to support more devices and enterprise applications and data," said Mr. Redman. "MDM vendors are moving beyond security, to support enterprise and third-party applications, data and content. 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."

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