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The consumerisation of technology, principally driven by the rapid adoption of smart devices, and the increasing demand by employees to use their own device to access the corporate network, is driving the need for Mobile Device Management (MDM).

MDM secures, monitors, manages and supports mobile devices deployed across the enterprise including over-the-air distribution of applications, data and configuration settings for all types of devices, including mobile phones, smartphones and tablets, for both company-owned and employee-owned devices. It is a growing market; the total worldwide demand for desktop and mobile security will top $7 billion by 2015, according to Infonetics Research.

Two recent research reports, the first by Information Week and the other by Boston Research Group, have highlighted why MDM is so important to the enterprise.

According to the Information Week Analytics Strategic Security Survey:

  • 70% of the respondents said mobile devices pose a level of threat to their companies' security
  • 33% said they were using MDM to enforce a unified security policy
  • 36% said they were evaluating using MDM
  • 64% were concerned that sensitive data could be on a device that is lost or stolen
  • 59% were concerned about an infected personal device connecting to the network
  • 37% were concerned about malicious apps being downloaded by a user

According to the Boston Research Group survey

  • 78% of IT security professionals believe that network access controlis essential to protect enterprises from mobile device risks
  • 68% were concerned about mobile security risks associated with mobile devices accessing corporate resources
  • 26% were concerned about data loss
  • 23% were concerned about malware

Paul McClanahan, research analyst and partner at the Boston Research Group stated that "IT professionals see many of the same security risks in mobile devices such as smartphones that have long been a concern for laptops and notebook computers. Device mobility, wireless access, personal applications and the high risk of lost or stolen handhelds creates a need for added defences against data loss, unauthorised access and malware."

The heart of the problem of consumerisation is the balance between corporate IT needing control and the end user desire for freedom. This needs a universal approach: for both corporate owned devices with allowed personal use OR personal owned devices with allowed corporate use, and let’s not forget that personal applications are often purchased and used for business use. Many analysts say the best practice is for corporate IT to control only the functions that are essential to protect the enterprise and empower end users with the freedom to use the device for wider business and personal tasks - as long as there is no material impact on corporate resources.

Solutions like Device Manager from Vodafone Global Enterprise allow mobile devices to be deployed with confidence. It provides a defined and enforced corporate data protection policy and understands what applications are in use on a specific device. This assists corporate IT in understanding the behaviour of early adopters and gives visibility of third party applications that a corporate IT team may be unhappy about.

This type of approach gives a business the ability to be agile and secure whilst driving the adoption of enterprise mobility to achieve competitive advantage.

To find out more about how Device Manager can help you, download our white paper: