I don’t blame you. And here’s why: The scope of mobile management is confusing and expansive, including things like mobile device management (MDM), persona separation technology, enterprise application stores, application management and a slew of other tools. Some vendors focus purely on one mobile management category, like device management, while plenty of others tackle two or three different enterprise challenges. At the same time, this market is evolving so fast that any assessment of the technologies and their vendors is out of date within 2-3 months.
But before I explain why Symantec’s acquisition is so important, let me give some more context. Mobile management has three main components which I&O professionals are thinking about, the device, the apps, and the data. Today, most first firms follow a very similar path: devices first – get an MDM solution to provide some control over the environment, set a mobile policy for employees, and start trying to figure out what to do about applications and data. Realistically, MDM only solves your challenge around device control – probably the least important of the three. That’s the path that many vendors are following today. As the MDM market becomes more commoditized, most vendors are turning their engineers towards data protection and sharing tools and application management technology. Had a conversation about Dropbox or Box.net lately? That’s a conversation about both apps and the data.
Prior to IBM Pulse 2012 heating up in Las Vegas, I was lucky enough to receive a pre-brief on some of the key messages from this year’s event. One of which is around mobility.
A statistic from the IBM mobility slide deck reminded me of a particular bugbear of mine: that mobility will most likely be yet another opportunity for gifted IT professionals to get excited about technology (and managing the technology) rather than stepping back to appreciate that modern IT is all about the consumption of IT services rather than the technology itself. That mobility is not about mobile devices or apps, that it’s about the consumption of business or IT services on the move BY PEOPLE via fit-for-purpose IT provisioning and IT service delivery.
The IBM Statistic?
In a recent IBM report, it was revealed that the Top Mobile Adoption Concerns are:
Cost of developing for multiple mobile platforms (52%)
Integrating cloud services to mobile devices (51%)