Mobile Device Management Services On The Rise

Enterprises worldwide spent $583 million on outsourced mobile device management (MDM) services in 2007. That number is expected to reach $20 billion in 2013, representing a CAGR of 80%, according to ABI Research.

However, that growth will increasingly come from small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) as larger enterprises bring MDM platforms and services in-house, according to Dan Shey, principal analyst at ABI Research, and author of the report "Mobile Device Management for Business."

Enterprises are paying an average of $9-$13 per user on MDM services, according to Shey. Broadly, MDM service costs can range from $5 to $40 per user, he notes.

The report addresses the complexity of MDM and raises the question of who will manage the MDM program in the enterprise.

"Mobile is becoming a critical tool for businesses to compete and become more efficient [than they were]," Shey tells Mobile Enterprise. "But mobile is a very complex product."
Enterprises have to deal with multiple operators in any given market, a plethora of devices with different operating systems, and myriad services and applications. "It's a complex ecosystem," says Shey. "No one entity can address all the needs and problems associated with mobility in the enterprise."
In his report summary, Shey writes "The range of services needed to manage a business' mobile investments requires input from many different wireless equipment and service providers, including operators, MDM platform vendors, I.T. service providers, telecom expense management firms and mobility management service firms.  All want to be part of the action."
Shey breaks mobile device management services into five key categories:
  • Policy development
  • Asset management
  • Billing, audit and reconciliation
  • Enhanced customer care
  • Security and extra services

"Mobile device management is a broad term," says Shey. "Too often we get focused on the actual MDM platforms. Operators have MDM platforms, and they're getting more capable overtime. But there are a number of different suppliers of MDM services."

These include telecommunication expense management firms, which are moving from wired to mobile solutions; MDM suppliers that are focused on selling platforms directly to businesses so that they can manage their own devices; companies such as RIM that have an email-focused services platform; firms such as IBM and Accenture that provide MDM as part of their overall I.T. management portfolio; the cellular network operators themselves; and a new group of suppliers known as mobility management services firms, such as Movero and Integrated Mobile.

There are several key business predictors that determine whether enterprises will bring MDM services in-house or turn to outsourcing services, says Shey. These include:

  • The size of the business
  • The number of mobile devices and services already deployed
  • The geographic distribution of the workforce
  • The need for mobile management automation
  • The need for email platform standardization
  • The price of the MDM services relative to the portion of I.T. budget allocated to mobility products and services

Other factors include how mission-critical mobility is to the enterprise; what level of internal support exists; and what level of control over systems and services is required by the I.T. department.

In 2007, the vast majority (88%) of companies serviced by MDM providers were enterprises with 1,000 or more employees, says Shey. By 2013, such enterprises will represent only 48% of buyers for MDM services, while SMBs will account for the bulk of MDM service buyers.

For more information about "Mobile Device Management for Business" click here.  

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