June’s Market Guide looks at tools for Mobile Device Management. This is a market that has settled into maturity following a rapid growth phase as smartphones from Apple & Android barged Blackberry out of the corporate world earlier this decade. The market is dominated by some of the largest technology companies in the world – IBM, Microsoft, VMWare, Google, and Citrix all feature in this guide – indicating the importance of managing mobile devices in the enterprise.
The ITAM Perspective
Why are all these heavyweights so active in this market? As many of the tools in this guide highlight, mobility has changed how we manage all our devices. Windows 10 & recent versions of OSX (now macOS) can be managed using the same tools as your mobile device estate. This approach, known as Unified Endpoint Management (UEM), is quickly gaining acceptance. The next goal for these management tools will be user profile management (termed by VMWare & Citrix, among others, as Workspace Management). The idea here is that your employee, wherever they may be, and whatever device they may be using, receives a universal, consistent, personalised workspace. UEM enables this along with the shift from per device to per user license metrics.
There are still key deliverables from mobile management for ITAM. These include;
If you are issuing company devices to your employees & actively managing them, there may be a license requirement. This is particularly the case for organisations licensing Microsoft software on a per-device basis.
Device lifecycle (onboarding/offboarding)
Company-owned & issued devices need to be tracked through their lifecycle. By their very nature, mobile devices move from location to location – with a resulting impact on your Hardware Asset Management practices.
Mobile devices inevitably contain data subject to security, privacy, and compliance requirements. These requirements mean that you need a method of discovering where the device is, what data is stored on it, who is using it, and to have a means to wipe the device in the event of theft or loss.
With mobile devices often costing more than a standard issue laptop, there is an obligation to pay close attention to cost management. Devices, and the SIMs/mobile contracts associated with them, present a microcosm of your larger IT infrastructure. The hardware may be capital expenditure whereas the SIM card and contract will be operating expenditure, as will much of the software installed on the device. Managing this is complex due to the often-high number of devices and SIM contracts.
Market Guide Inclusion
As always with our market guides we have selected vendors across industry sectors, sizes, and geographies. If you are a vendor with a MDM solution with strong ITAM capabilities, please get in touch and we’ll be happy to update the guide. Likewise, if you’re using a solution that’s not listed, please contact us. We also welcome your reviews of these tools via the ITAM Review Market Place.