MDM Deployment Expected to Pick up in 2013, Survey Finds

December 7, 2012

Regardless of whether executives and tech professionals approve, employees are using personal devices and mobile solutions for work at increasing rates. As such, company decision-makers have been forced to react to ensure their corporate data is safe.

“Securing corporate data on mobile devices is a big challenge, but one that companies must embrace,” said Phil Redman, research vice president at Gartner. “Enterprises are struggling with how to support and secure this dynamic workforce.”

Many IT departments have turned to mobile device management (MDM) solutions to mitigate the risks. According to a recent InformationWeek survey, 82 percent of organizations have deployed, are in the process of implementing or are looking into MDM software packages. Gartner recently predicted that by 2017, nearly two-thirds of enterprises will have adopted an MDM solution.

Only 12 percent of companies have no intention of deploying MDM software, according to the InformationWeek survey.

What IT should do
With so many personal laptops, tablets and smartphones entering the workplace, IT infrastructure support, particularly with regard to data protection, is as important as ever.

In a recent interview with FierceMobileIT, Chris Hazelton, research director for mobile and wireless at 451 Research, suggested that enterprises should focus more on managing mobile solutions as opposed to the actual devices.

“When you think what is the next thing that is coming into the enterprise to challenge IT, that will be mobile applications,” Hazelton told the news source. “As an IT manager, I have to deal with five or six devices, three different operating systems, but I have to deal with 50 or 100 mobile applications. That is when it gets to be a challenge.”

Hazelton said he thinks MDM and mobile application management will collide in the near future, noting that some MDM vendors are “already doing application management.” At the same time, the recent InformationWeek article stressed that enterprises should look into the other security features MDM packages provide, including:

Mobile app screening: Some MDM vendors offer built-in scanning programs to detect malicious applications.

Customized mobile solutions: This allows companies to design their own secure apps for work-related functions rather than leaving employees to download them on their own.

Encryption capabilities: While every MDM package includes encryption capabilities, some are stronger than others.

– Network and browser security: Company and IT leaders get to choose who accesses corporate networks and from where, while browser security features filter what an employee is allowed to search.