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IP EXPO 2013: Companies “scrabbling” to control mobile explosion

Regardless of what company you were meeting and what IT segment they specialised in, you were never far away from a ‘mobile management solution’ of some description at IP EXPO this week.

The influx of personal devices in the corporate sphere, now normalised through expressions like BYOD (bring your own device), has manufacturers falling over themselves to offer systems that control and manage the litany of smart devices that end up handling valuable business data.

But with the mobile explosion now in full motion, is the industry playing catch up in terms of the BYOD solutions it can offer businesses? “I think there’s element of that,” Dell KACE’s Jim Docherty told ITProPortal. “In general, it’s still a fairly embryonic market.”

With a relative lack of MDM (mobile device management) tools available at present, Docherty said there was “still a lot of scrabbling” among organisations seeking to keep up with BYOD. “I think it’s taken a lot of people out of their comfort zone. They’re used to the structured [system of] Windows, desktop, servers – and suddenly there’s these new devices… It becomes a challenge over how do we bring that in, whether we lock it down, and how we work with things that cater to security."

Despite the security concerns it brings, the new era of mobile-dominance is only just getting started, argues Docherty, who said the upcoming the holiday season will bring another tangible increase of consumer devices in the workplace. But it seems the shrewd IT managers and businesses are not purely focused on the negatives of these trends.

“They can also see the benefits. It’s making people more efficient and flexible and they can just get on with doing their job,” said Docherty. “These things [mobile devices] are coming and the guys who are doing the smart work are figuring out how to manage [devices] into the organisation.”

In prophetic fashion, Jessica Twentyman spoke of the growing conversation around MDM and MAM (mobile application management) ahead of this year’s IP EXPO, claiming that BYOD solutions will become the next major market battleground among mobile companies.