mdm-cloudHot Sector in 2014: Mobile Device Management

The mobile device management market is heating up, and is set to be one of the fastest growing market sectors in 2014.

Mobile Device Management (MDM) software provides enterprises with a policy and configuration management tool for a wide range of mobile devices including mobile phones, smartphones, tablets and ruggedized laptops — typically supporting over-the-air distribution of applications, data and configuration settings over multiple mobile operating systems.

Additional features include the ongoing monitoring of mobile devices, and security capabilities such as the ability to remotely wipe data from a device.

Market leaders in the MDM software space include AirWatch, Citrix, MobileIron and SAP. A wide range of additional vendors also offer MDM solutions, some targeted to particular niche markets. Companies such as Absolute Software, McAfee, Tangoe, and Trend Micro come to mind.

VMware’s recent (Jan 2014) purchase of AirWatch for USD $1.5 billion is a sign of things to come — providing VMware with a springboard to expand beyond its core market of virtualisation and cloud computing into the MDM software space. We expect to see additional acquisitions in 2014.

Apple’s integration of an MDM protocol in iOS 7 is another indicator of the strength of this market segment. iOS 7 includes a number of new commands, queries, and configuration options that make third-party MDM solutions even more powerful — enabling MDM software to set up managed apps, install custom fonts, configure accessibility options and AirPrint printers, and whitelist AirPlay destinations.

MDM software is only a small part of the rapidly expanding MDM market segment, which also includes MDM services.

Providers in this space range from telecommunications companies such as Telstra, Optus and Macquarie Telecom — to dedicated mobility specialists like imei and MSC Mobility — as well as solutions providers like Schepisi Communications, and consulting and service management specialists like Housley Consulting (now known as TeleResult).

Downloads from mobile devices continue to grow, with the ABS reporting that 19.6 TB was downloaded from mobile handsets in the June 2013 quarter — representing a CAGR of 130.5% from the June 2011 quarter. This is the tip of the iceberg. With 4G services now rolling out from all of the mobile operators, mobile downloads are set for exponential growth.

2014 is going to be a year where MDM software and services become increasingly important to enterprise and government customers.

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