HP says its new cloud-based mobility management service allows firms to give users access to apps and data via smartphones and tablets while still maintaining control over security.
The new service, HP Enterprise Cloud Services – Mobility, enables companies to deploy tools and services quickly for access to applications, file storage and sharing via multiple mobile platforms, according to HP.
It provides organisations with the tools to set appropriate security policies and controls to protect data.
Ovum analyst Richard Absalom said there is nothing massively ground-breaking in HP's product launch from a technical point of view but the timing is significant.
"In terms of the controls and settings and everything around device and application management — there are a whole raft of vendors in this space at the moment," Absalom said.
"What is interesting is that companies the size of HP are making their move into this market. We've had recent announcements from IBM. Dell are wanting to get into this as well," he said.
"It's an indication of just how big the market is that the big fish are deciding they want to be involved and are taking it seriously."
HP Enterprise Cloud Services — Mobility allows users to download approved apps from a secure storefront, and upload and synchronise files between the HP cloud and mobile devices. HP said mobile data is encrypted in transit and at rest.
According to Absalom, not that many businesses are putting this kind of application management into practice yet.
"But over the past year or so we've seen a real boost in the number of vendors who are doing it and moving towards providing enterprise app stores and securing data at the app level," Absalom said.
"So you think of all the main providers in enterprise mobility management or the firms that have been making a name for themselves like MobileIron, AirWatch, Good Technology — they've been talking about this for a while," he said.
"The interesting thing now is that the big names — HP, IBM, SAP, Dell — they all want a piece of this and you start to see the market really pick up. These guys have the broad reach to go and target their existing client bases and sell them mobility-management packages."
HP said its mobility-management service integrates technologies from Citrix and SAP among others, which are managed by HP to simplify deployment and operations.
"As a service provider HP will be able to go out and pick some of the different solutions and provide them to their clients. They're in a good position to choose what works best for their particular customers," Absalom said.
He added that mobile device management has been a hot topic over the past couple of years. "But actually where we see demand going — what a lot of enterprises are talking about doing is application management, and trying to manage things at the app rather than the device level. [The HP launch] is tapping into that trend," he said.