Airship

Businesses Call for Mobile Device Management

David Murphy

65% of businesses would change mobile network providers if they were offered a comprehensive mobile device management (MDM) service by a competing mobile operator, according to research released by Mformation. 79% of respondents said that managing mobile device usage was becoming increasingly difficult and complex.
The research was undertaken by Coleman Parkes, on behalf of Mformation. The research company questioned 200 CIOs of enterprise companies across the UK, Europe and the US. Mformation says the findings highlight the growing need for device management capabilities within enterprises to cater for the increasingly advanced and complex applications available on mobile devices.
We know there is a growing demand from business users for more advanced functionality on mobile devices, such as VoIP and sales force applications, says Mformation Vice President, Matt Bancrofct. Unsurprisingly, the mobilisation of these applications is making management of corporate devices significantly more complex. More than three quarters of organisations questioned said device management is becoming a serious issue, because it is critical to underpinning successful mobilisation initiatives in the enterprise. There is a massive opportunity here for mobile operators to offer an important value-added service, as well as retain valuable customers."
Companies are already taking action to address some of the issues created by growing mobile device usage. 71% said they have increased investment in data and system security, while 68% said they have increased investment in staff training. Furthermore, 66% of organisations surveyed have implemented a strict usage policy for devices.  However, 91% believe that their mobile operator has a critical role to play in supporting the management of corporate mobile devices.
While enterprises are investing in policies and procedures for staff using mobile devices, they currently do not have the tools to manage them, says Bancroft. There is a significant demand for mobile network providers to step in. Operators have the opportunity to provide the solutions that enable the enterprise IT department to easily manage their own devices.
A critical issue surrounding enterprise device management is the ability to provide a high degree of device and network security. Other key concerns are that users are effectively supported, so that any device problems can be quickly identified and fixed; that technology is kept updated and future-proof; and that support costs are kept under control. Enterprises expect some level of operator support in this area. However, the enterprise view is that the operator is not supporting these needs well at present. 60% of enterprises surveyed did not have any positive opinion of current operator device management support.
From a revenue perspective enterprise customers are immensely important to operators says Bancroft. However, their needs are significantly different from those of consumers. Enterprises are looking for far more advanced device and application management services. If mobile operators can't meet these needs, they risk losing their most prized customers."