Gartner predicts 65% of firms will use MDM by 2017

Gartner predicts 65% of firms will use MDM by 2017

The bring your own device (BYOD) phenomenon is set to continue in the coming years, so much so in fact that Gartner is predicting that 65 per cent of firms will implement mobile device management (MDM) by 2017.

Phil Redman, a research vice president at Gartner, said it may be too early to pronounce the death of the traditional work PC, but workers are transferring many of their tasks from the desktop to mobile devices.

According to Gartner, 90 per cent of enterprises will need to support two or more mobile operating systems through 2017.

The sheer number of devices on the market is expected to make managing them difficult for IT departments and businesses as a whole. Staff often prefer to use their own choice of device, which will make management even harder.

For this reason, Gartner has forecast a growth in MDM technology in the coming years. Mr Redman noted: "Organisations will find it hard to achieve an efficient mobile-support system if all platforms are not managed the same way under enterprise requirements."

The organisation also urged businesses to separate the mobile device they support into three different categories; trusted standard devices provided by the company, "tolerated" devices, which will take the shape of employee-owned equipment supported by the firm, and non-supported devices.

Gartner added that IT departments should then detail a list of supported technologies in each class, along with a budget for the projected amount that each selection consumes.

Mr Redman added that MDM is constantly changing and evolving. "MDM vendors are moving beyond security, to support enterprise and third-party applications, data and content. In the next two years, we will continue to see MDM platforms broaden out and become more enterprise mobile system management platforms, not just for devices alone," he explained.

Two options for businesses looking to implement MDM include MaaS360 from Fiberlink and DME from Excitor.

MaaS360, which recently picked up Mobile Product of the Year at the 2012 Techworld Awards ceremony, is a cloud based data security and device management system utilising native applications and Exchange Active Sync to support BYOD polices.

DME from Excitor offers an on premise solution providing secure email, secure browser and Mobile Enterprise Application Platform (MEAP) plus mobile device management.