As worldwide growth in the mobility market surges among both business and personal users, organizations are seeking ways to monitor, manage and secure mobile devices, data and applications. Security concerns among IT managers about sensitive data leaving corporate environments have led many executives to investigate mobile device management solutions.
MDM vendors provide customers with a way to manage, secure, support and track mobile devices throughout their enterprise. Typical functionality includes over-the-air updates; asset management; support for applications; the ability to locate, lock, and wipe devices; policy control and password management; device diagnostics and reporting; and security and compliance enforcement.
A key driver of MDM growth has been the BYOD – Bring Your Own Device – and consumerization of IT phenomena. As consumers increasingly bring smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices into enterprise settings, they expect access to corporate networks and support by enterprise IT departments. This, along with device and mobile operating system fragmentation – particularly on Android-based devices – has overwhelmed IT managers and led to greater interest in MDM solutions.
Due to the significant and accelerating growth in mobility, vendors have entered the mobile device management market at a rapid pace to capitalize on the need to secure data and devices. As a result, the MDM market has become crowded, with a mentality sometimes referred to as the “Wild West.” Additionally, vendors from adjacent industries, including mobile application management (MAM), are seeking to capture a portion of the mobility market. In some cases, MDM vendors are partnering with complimentary firms such as MAMs in order to provide a comprehensive approach to customers. MDM executives realize the market is moving too fast to develop solutions on their own and emphasize strong partner ecosystems.
The MDM market can be segmented in a variety of ways. When MDM vendors look at their own market opportunities, they utilize both vertical and functional segmentation approaches, targeting industries and line of business groups that are most likely to adopt mobile device management solutions quickly and comprehensively. It is also common for MDM players to segment the market based on customers’ size and rate of adoption.
When evaluating the MDM industry structure, there are two principal types of vendors: large companies that offer mobile device management as part of a larger set of offerings and smaller players who are primarily or exclusively focused on the mobile device management market. Larger players are typically public, while smaller players are generally private and backed by venture capital funding.
Mobile device management vendors provide numerous benefits for their customers, including improved ROI/TCO, more efficient and productive employees, greater customer and employee loyalty, and improved data and device security. These benefits are highlighted in the following table and discussed in greater detail throughout the study.
Mobile Device Management (MDM) Market Overview
Managing mobile devices is not new – since the introduction of laptops, IT departments have had to manage mobile infrastructure to keep track of employee usage of corporate assets. What has changed is the complexity of multiple platforms, operating systems, device types and applications.
This complexity is compounded by the BYOD and consumerization of IT phenomena in which users are driving device choice instead of control coming from IT departments in a traditional top-down approach. Moreover, unlike laptops, when corporate applications were essentially corporate email and users were primarily utilizing a singular device – BlackBerry – the mobility environment today has diversified into hundreds of different permutations.
IT executives cite security concerns as a primary reason for evaluating and selecting MDM solutions. As more employees bring their mobile devices to work, there are security implications in terms of device management, information management, and file management, as well as issues of overall information security and integrity if an employee leaves the organization.
An approach some MDM vendors have taken in addressing security concerns around mobile data is to adopt a container architecture, while other MDM players offer a platform approach.
- Container Approach: As the name implies, sensitive information is put into a “container” or sandbox and managed within that container. Typically, personal data in a BYOD environment is kept out of the container so that any wipe of corporate data is clean and does not disturb an end-user’s personal information, a key legal consideration for many firms.
- Platform Approach: Companies utilizing a platform approach manage the device all the way down to the OS level. Vendors in this category work closely with hardware manufacturers, including handset and tablet manufacturers, to ensure they have access to the APIs into which their systems will connect. These vendors also stress their ability to provide a “native” user experience.
Mobile Applications Driving Growth
Mobile applications are driving much of the growth in the mobility market, and MDM vendors are responding. MDM vendors offer support for mobile applications from Apple’s iTunes and Google’s Android Market, as well as private and custom applications.
Increasingly, customers are blending different types of applications to meet their needs, such as on-device, thick client standalone, thin client web-clip, and applications that are a combination of on-device code as well as back-end database/back-end application server. MDM providers are supporting these needs through innovative combinations of technology.
Mobile Application Management (MAM) vendors have begun entering the market, creating tension between their approach toward application development, deployment and management and the approach taken by MDM players. In other instances, MAM and MDM vendors are working collaboratively through partnerships. We explore the different strategies taken by the various players and how this impacts both user experience and security.
We also examine the different stages of development among customers with regard to application deployment. While some customers have moved beyond basic applications to more advanced capabilities, many companies continue to struggle with how to manage all of the applications that end-users are putting onto their mobile devices, including securing and provisioning the applications and managing third party versus in-house applications.
MDM Delivery Models Allow Greater Customer Choice
While mobile device management has traditionally been offered as an on-premise solution ¡V a delivery model that remains a significant portion of the MDM installed base ¡V customers are increasingly evaluating other ways of consuming MDM offerings. Vendors are moving at varying speeds to provide alternatives:
- Recent Offers of Cloud Solutions: Companies such as MobileIron, Motorola Solutions, SOTI, Tangoe, Wavelink, and Zenprise have recently added hosted offerings to their portfolios. In-depth discussions with executives from these firms found that the cloud-based segments of their businesses are growing at a rapid rate.
- Cloud Solutions through Partnerships: Vendors such as McAfee, SAP and Zenprise are offering cloud-based MDM solutions through partners. In some cases, these vendors are also developing their own cloud-based solutions as organic offerings through their direct sales teams.
- Cloud-only Offerings: Fiberlink and Mformation regard the single option of a cloud-based solution as preferable to the combined offerings of cloud and on-premise solutions. These firms believe that the rapid pace of change within the mobility market, along with the general IT trend to increasingly shift infrastructure from on-premise to the cloud, makes cloud-based MDM a sound decision.
- On-Premise-only Offerings: Good Technology believes that delivering end-to-end security with consistent, government-grade data encryption across all of its supported platforms and devices requires an on-premise solution with a footprint behind the corporate firewall and on the device, particularly when business apps and data being accessed are based on on-premise systems.
We analyze and discuss additional paths vendors are taking to meet customer delivery needs, including appliance offerings; perpetual licensing; site, partial and full hosting; and managed services hosting. Additionally, we address the deep and sometimes visceral differences in vendor attitudes about the relative ease ¡V or difficulty ¡V in moving from a single-tenant, on-premise architecture to a multi-tenant, cloud-based architecture.
Partner Ecosystem Critical to MDM and Customer Success
In every interview with MDM executives, partnerships were highlighted as a vital factor to MDM success and customer satisfaction. Partners are essential to MDM players when MDMs are moving into new markets or adding new technologies and services that may not be a core competency. Partners also extend MDM vendors¡¦ reach to international markets.
Partners provide both horizontal and vertical expertise. Examples of highly sought after vertical partners include those in fast-growing mobile industries, such as healthcare and financial services. Horizontally, MDMs are seeking out best-of-breed partners, such as players with deep experience and relationships in mobile security.
Partnerships are detailed in the following areas:
- MDM Partnerships with OEMs: MDM vendors are partnering with OEMs to develop advanced functionality for feature-rich products. MDMs are also pre-loading their software onto OEM devices, allowing customers to purchase mobile devices bundled with MDM products.
- MDM Partnerships with Carriers: Carriers are important to the MDM market, as they expand MDM vendors¡¦ reach into the carrier¡¦s customer base, as well as scale down to lower segments of the market that may not typically be targeted by MDM players.
- MDM Partnerships in Adjacent Industries: MDM players have structured partnerships with technology vendors, software services companies, managed service providers, mobile application management vendors, mobile enterprise application platform players, value added resellers, and system integrators.
MDM vendors also rely on partners to provide a variety of support services, including international support, system support, Tier 1 help desk support, application development and deployment, and installation and configuration assistance.
Mobility Experts Provide Advice for Evaluating and Choosing a Mobile Device Management Solution
In a crowded market with MDM vendor functionality that appears undifferentiated in the eyes of many customers, how can IT managers decide upon the best ¡§fit¡¨ for their organizations? What are the critical issues enterprise IT managers should consider when evaluating MDM solutions?
We asked these questions to MDM executives, and they provided insights on key strategies customers should employ when considering and selecting an MDM provider. We discuss these recommendations and others in greater detail within the report:
- Consider MDM as a Long-Term Strategy: Customers should ensure that they are taking a long-term view of their mobility deployments by preparing for different market scenarios, including multiple devices and platforms that may be introduced, or that may disappear.
- Determine Vendor Support for Heterogeneous Environments: While most top-tier MDM providers support a range of mobile operating systems, device fragmentation necessitates that customers inquire about specific MOS levels supported across the various platforms.
- Determine BYOD Strategy: Customers who have not already decided on a BYOD policy need to do so soon. Otherwise, employees will make this determination for them.
- Put Corporate Policies and Business Needs Ahead of IT Tools: MDM executives stressed the importance of putting corporate policies and strategies ahead of devices and MDM software so that MDM solutions are aligned to the customer organization, and not vice versa.
- Understand the Needs of Business Units: Organizations need to understand not only the requirements of the IT department, but the critical business needs and processes that individuals use with mobility and mobile applications.
INTENDED AUDIENCE FOR THIS REPORT
Key Considerations in Evaluating & Selecting a MDM Solution serves a growing audience of IT managers within medium-to-large organizations who are considering the deployment of mobile device management solutions within their organizations. The report:
- Highlights the core capabilities provided by top-tier MDM providers, the benefits MDM solutions provide, and the innovative ways in which mobility is being used within organizations today.
- Presents comprehensive and detailed recommendations for the types of issues IT executives should consider before and during their discussions with mobile device management vendors, highlighting key questions and capabilities prospective customers should raise to discern whether a specific solution is a good ¡§fit¡¨ for their needs.
- Mobile device management vendors, while outwardly similar, offer distinctive solutions tailored to specific markets.
- Provides recommendations about internal policies and procedures that will aid in organizations¡¦ long-term mobility success, helping to prevent avoidable mistakes that organizations new to the industry may encounter.
- Provides assistance to customers who may be considering adjacent mobility players, such as mobile application management vendors ¡V either in addition to or in place of MDM solutions. Through in-depth discussions with these market players, we present the similarities and differences in their approaches to mobility management.
This report features information from in-depth interviews with leading mobile device management providers, as well as emerging mobility players. Customer and partner interviews were also conducted to provide additional perspectives on the market. Case studies and company profiles highlight the innovative work being done in the mobile device and mobile application management markets by a variety of players, including:
3LM, Absolute Software, AirWatch, Apperian, AT&T, Bitzer Mobile, BoxTone, Coldwater Creek, DynCorp International, Endeavour Software Technologies, Enterprise Mobility Strategies, Enterproid, Fiberlink, Good Technology, McAfee, Mformation, MobileIron, Motorola Solutions, Paragon Development Systems, Partnerpedia, SAP, SOTI, Syclo, Tangoe, Verivo, and Wavelink.
Primary and secondary research for this study took place during October 2011 – January 2012 and included interviews with IT executives from mobile device management vendors, mobile application management companies, and mobile enterprise application platform vendors. Additional participants included IT enterprise customers, partners, and subject matter experts.
Report contributors included company presidents, CXOs, VPs, senior and executive directors, and senior managers. Participants were represented from marketing, engineering, business development, communications and corporate strategy and provided both tactical and strategic feedback regarding their organization’s mobility technology. In-depth face-to-face and telephone interviews were conducted with approximately 60 mobility executives during the research process. Research also included participation in webinars and online forums, as well as live discussions at industry events.