Mobile management requires holistic, granular approach

Mobile management requires holistic, granular approach

Summary: Endpoint tools addressing influx of consumer devices in enterprise space inadequate, analysts say, noting that vendors should provide wide-ranging but targeted products and services to solve mobile management conundrum.

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Consumerization of IT and bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trends have resulted in an influx of consumer devices into the enterprise arena, with single-function endpoint offerings no longer sufficient for IT administrators to properly manage employees' tech usage. As such, vendors need to tailor their products to be holistic in scope, yet granular enough to address company-specific needs.

Michele Pelino, principal analyst of infrastructure and operations at Forrester Research, said the mobile management industry is currently driven by the need to address an increasingly fragmented corporate device landscape.

As more companies deploy and support BYOD policies for work-related activities, this means they will have to employ various means to control employee access to corporate resources and mobile apps, via mobile device management, mobile app management and enterprise-controlled appstores, Pelino pointed out.

Her points were echoed by Tim Dillon, associate vice president for end user and mobility research at IDC Asia-Pacific, who said IT consumerization and BYOD had impacted businesses in terms of legal and compliance complexities due to the use of mobile devices from various vendors.

Dillon added that mobile device management had "morphed" to now include identity and access functions, which would eventually need to evolve to become a "multi-faceted solution that addresses device, applications and data [access]".

"In this environment, applications and data provisioning on personal devices is critical," the analyst stated. "Point solutions or single device management is neither effective nor efficient, and we expect to see more holistic solutions become more prominent."

He added that in terms of the overall enterprise security market, IDC forecast a compound annual growth rate of 29.6 percent between 2011 and 2016 to reach approximately US$2.5 billion. The largest growth markets within mobile security include mobile security vulnerability management, mobile information protection and control, and mobile identity and access management, he said.

Coveted enterprise features
Asked what features companies were requesting from their vendors, Pelino pointed out that many focused on securing mobile devices. Some of these included detecting and preventing jailbreaking on Apple's iOS devices and rooting on Android-based ones to ensure employees cannot bypass IT management protocols, as well as data leak prevention (DLP) tools to prevent unauthorized users from accessing corporate data, she said.

The Forrester analyst also pointed to "emerging demand" for mobile application management to support software distribution, application availability and corporate appstores. These developments, in turn, were forcing infrastructure and operations professionals to have more granular control over app provisioning, she added.

One market player highlighted what mobile management service providers will need to succeed in the market.

Matthew Hardman, product marketing manager of VMware Asean and India, said vendors must deliver an end-user management platform that will ensure end-users have a simple, consistent user experience across all their devices. AT the same time, IT departments need a single management platform to define policies that "determine which users get what, when and with what level of security", he said.

Hardman added that providing administrators ability to control users' endpoint connections to corporate data and services can "dramatically" simplify security and compliance with regulatory requirements, too.

He said products such as VMware's View and Horizon Application Manager, for example, was built to help companies streamline key IT processes such as provisioning, configuration management, connection brokering, policy enforcement, performance monitoring and application assignment.

In summary, IDC's Dillon said while multi-operating system, multi-device tools across the enterprise would grow in importance, such holistic offerings also would need to have granularity. For instance, vendors can look to "app wrapping" in which companies can calibrate security policies for individual apps to gain a competitive edge.

"The ability to integrate [granular products] into a holistic security architecture that brings mobile into the fabric of the organization rather than point solutions, will be an interesting factor to watch as the market develops," the analyst surmised.

Topics: Security, Apps, CXO, Mobility, Software, IT Employment

Kevin Kwang

About Kevin Kwang

A Singapore-based freelance IT writer, Kevin made the move from custom publishing focusing on travel and lifestyle to the ever-changing, jargon-filled world of IT and biz tech reporting, and considered this somewhat a leap of faith. Since then, he has covered a myriad of beats including security, mobile communications, and cloud computing.

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