Study: Growth ahead for Enterprise Mobile Management

BYOD

(This is a guest blog by Jack Gold, principal analyst and founder of US-based J.Gold Associates)

Many have speculated about the evolution of the market for MDM/EMM as BYOD has taken hold in corporations. Will it expand or shrink? Little real data existed – until now.

To find out what is happening in the enterprise, we recently conducted a comprehensive Enterprise Mobile Management survey of 300 organizations in North America to quantitatively and qualitatively assess their strategies, directions and implementations. Among the many questions that we asked, we inquired about actual devices, functions and vendors deployed. We also inquired about the current deployment and growth of mobile workforce devices being managed.

While some have indicated a slowing of the market for device management, based on the data we obtained we see no indication that is the case at least over the next 3 years. Indeed, our respondents indicated a substantial growth of devices being managed under EMM, even though they indicated the actual number of devices managed is well under 50% of the total deployed.

To assess the potential for growth, we asked our respondents to indicate the percentage of their current workplace devices being managed, as well as what they expected to have under management in 1 year and in 3 years. While we expected the numbers to grow, we were a bit surprised by the rate of growth that these organizations indicated.

jack gold chart

Figure 1 shows the growth rates for 1 year and 3 years. It indicates a major increase from the current quantity of devices under management. The analysis indicated that smartphones under management will grow by 27.3% in the next year, and by 55.8% in 3 years.

We also inquired about the quantities of tablets being deployed and managed. The number of tablets being managed is less than those of smartphones, as might be expected given the relatively smaller number of tablet users. It too is expected to grow substantially, though. Respondents indicated a growth rate of 22.1% in 1 year and 48.3% in 3 years of tablets being managed. Here too we saw significantly less than 50% of tablets currently deployed being managed by an EMM solution.

Clearly companies are planning to increase the number of devices that will be included in EMM solutions they are implementing. But this may not directly equate to increased sales for EMM vendors. Many companies “overbought” licenses initially and are now clearing their internal inventory and applying those licenses to their devices. But the trend in managed devices is clearly up – which is good news to EMM vendors. What’s troubling is the relatively small share of deployed devices actually under management, leaving a large percentage of devices (and corporate data) potentially vulnerable.

Our respondents also indicated they will be rolling out additional components of EMM suites that are not currently being used (more specific data on features and functions being considered can be found in the study). This is an indication that cost per user will actually increase over the coming years (something our respondents quantified in the study).

All of this is good news for EMM solutions vendors, as the growth rates indicate an expanding market. However, it was also clear from the study that market consolidation will continue with enterprises favoring the larger vendors with more comprehensive solutions. And scorecard reports obtained in the study for some of the vendors indicate that their customers do not consider them as strategic, nor are necessarily very pleased with their selection.

All in all, the market for EMM solutions is both growing and evolving, with more seats under management in the future, and more features and functions of the suites being rolled out. But if our study indicates anything, it indicates that the market will continue to be turbulent and one where vendor loyalty will be a mixed bag at best.

About Eric Lai

I have written about technology and mobility for Computerworld, ZDNet, Forbes and others. I oversee the blogs and social content here at BlackBerry and continue to track and opine about the latest news and trends in enterprise mobility. Follow me on Twitter (ericylai)

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