- With all of the confusion in the market regarding BYOD and its effect on application development and delivery, mobile device management, and mobile security, a logical option for enterprises would be to ‘outsource’ these functions to an IT service provider or mobile operator.
- A recent Current Analysis survey of enterprise readers shows mixed results. A ‘do-it-yourself’ mentality still leads enterprise mobility initiatives, but the use of managed mobility services is growing.
According to a recent study among the Current Analysis IT Connection base, 24% of respondents (including IT managers and CIOs) are using the managed mobility services of IT service providers or mobile operators for telecom expense management (TEM) today, with mobile application stores and mobile application management (MAM) also seeing relatively high usage at approximately 21% of respondents. Another 18% were using mobile device management (MDM), mobile security, and mobile strategy services from these providers. (Multiple answers were encouraged, so the percentages do not add up to 100%). However, 27% of the survey respondents were not using external services providers today for these functions (although 20% of these companies would consider doing so in the near future).
While these trends still indicate a ‘do-it-yourself’ preference for mobility management, it is clear that the use of service providers for managed mobility is growing and will continue to grow, as IT managers see the complexity of mobile deployments increasing, and as BYOD makes MDM and security and other methods of containerizing and guaranteeing the security of corporate resources more crucial than ever. In the meantime, we expect both categories of external service providers for managed mobility to continue to add solutions; several, such as Verizon and Sprint, have explicitly delineated portfolios for BYOD management, and AT&T offers a variety of managed mobility, MAM, and dual-persona options.
Mobile operators have already been offering TEM and MDM for a long time, but not all have added MAM or capabilities such as app-wrapping, or even comprehensive mobile security services beyond those included in MDM platforms. These are natural evolutions of their managed mobility services. Meanwhile, IT service providers have finally begun to offer standardized managed services (rather than only looking to very large companies to provide large outsourcing projects). They may find that with this approach they can even go down-market further to address the needs of SMBs and mid-market companies, segments that they have largely ignored in the past.
Employee-owned devices in use for business activities are a fact of life, and the faster enterprises learn to adapt to this new reality and gain control over their use, the sooner they can ensure that enterprise data and resources are protected. Enterprises may find that a managed mobility solution can readily be justified in terms of ROI calculations, as they eliminate infrastructure requirements as well as the need to buy MDM and security software and platforms separately from disparate vendors and cobble together solutions that are not already integrated.