Gartner Says Mobile Device Management Is Essential for IT Success

Analysts Discuss Mobile Device Management at Gartner IT Infrastructure & Operations Management Summit 2012, 12-13 June, in Frankfurt, Germany

(PresseBox) ( Egham, UK, )
Mobile device management (MDM) has become a crucial discipline for IT departments, given the increasing number of smartphones and media tablets used within organisations, according to Gartner, Inc.

"The era of fully supporting company-owned devices is giving way to an era of managed diversity in which tiered support for employee-owned, consumer-class devices is the norm," said Terrence Cosgrove, research director at Gartner. "With the unabated growth of consumerisation, IT leaders need to implement MDM to manage corporate- and employee-owned devices, and assign responsibilities inside IT departments for the service, application and security of all these devices."

MDM requires tight coordination between security and operations. The measures organisations take to implement mobile device security are mostly about ensuring that device configurations match corporate policy - for example, they check whether devices are protected by a compliant password and that the information they contain can be wiped, should circumstances call for this.

"Because of the complexity of the mobile device landscape, there must be a person or group responsible for monitoring this landscape and for understanding users' demands for new types of device and the impact that new platforms have on applications," said Mr Cosgrove. "This person or group must work with the security team regularly to address the impact that platform changes and demands for mobile services have on the organisation's security."

Organisations are moving from a single-standard approach to controlling mobility to a more flexible approach that Gartner calls "managed diversity" - one that supports the variety of mobile devices found in the organisation. "This is the only approach that helps IT leaders maintain control over mobility, and supports bring-your-own-device programs," said Mr Cosgrove. The key to this strategy is to provide an appliance service that offers support for both personally owned devices (individually liable) and business-specific devices (corporate-liable).

Gartner analysts added that without managed diversity, organisations are likely to face increased costs, for three reasons: reduced user productivity, if the IT standard does not suit users' needs; a perception on the part of users that the IT department has lost relevance, which prompts more users to support themselves and increases indirect costs; higher noncompliance costs incurred by users who circumvent IT standards.

Although some MDM vendors and products have been around a long time, MDM is a nascent market and growing rapidly. Today, there are over 100 MDM vendors, with most offering on-premises or software-as-a-service tools. More mature managed services will emerge during the next three years to drive growth in the industry. Gartner predicts that pure MDM revenue (i.e., excluding revenue relating to messaging and security) will exceed $500 million in 2012.

Organisations have to decide whether a heavyweight (i.e., container-based) or lightweight (i.e., policy-based) approach is appropriate for them. "A variety of factors come into play here, including device ownership (whether the user or the organisation owns the device), security, compliance, application delivery and device usability," said Mr Cosgrove.

Gartner analysts will explore the selection and implementation of MDM vendors and tools at the Gartner IT Infrastructure & Operations Management Summit 2012, 12-13 June, in Frankfurt, Germany. For further information about Summit, please visit Information from the event will be shared on Twitter at using #GartnerIOM.

Note to editors:

Managed diversity is an architectural, governance and communication approach that encourages "give and take" collaboration between business and IT organisations in order to strike a balance between the need for a set of standards that help control costs and the need for a diversity of solutions to increase innovation, business growth and competitive advantage.

About Gartner IT Infrastructure & Operations Management Summit 2012

The traditional "walled garden" approach taken by IT infrastructure and operations (I&O) organisations to the delivery and management of services will fall short of business expectations. They will have to reinvent themselves as service brokers to increase agility, reduce cost and drive efficiency in the business. The Gartner IT Infrastructure & Operations Management Summit 2012 will advise how I&O organisations can remain relevant to the business by harnessing and channelling the power of social networks, cloud computing and mobile computing in order to deliver and manage end-to-end services in a rapidly changing multi-sourced environment.
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