Date published: December 1, 2011
By targeting consumers with their smartphone and tablet marketing strategies, Apple and Google have shifted control of computing and technology from employers to employees, forcing the former to adopt "bring your own device" (BYOD) strategies, according to a recent report.
A study by Ovum, a business and technology analysis firm, concluded that the marketing strategies employed by Apple and Google are having "an enormous, disruptive impact on enterprise mobile device strategies" and increasing the data security and management demands on organizations. The irony is that this outcome is the result of a conscious decision to market to consumers, not to IT departments.
"In the past, enterprises have driven adoption of the latest computing hardware, having been courted by device manufacturers and distributors for large volume orders," says Richard Absalom, a consumer impact IT analyst at Ovum and author of the report. "However, the huge popularity of iOS and Android devices in consumer markets means enterprises are now having to respond to employee demand to use devices that the enterprise has no control over to access corporate data and applications. This is shifting enterprises away from the traditional model of IT department control and forcing them to plug the gap with a BYOD strategy."
The data security and management challenges posed by this shift in control are fueling a rapid rise in demand for mobile device management (MDM) vendors to help organizations cope with the security risks posed by new platforms and devices. Given the rate of mobile device adoption, these vendors will only become more popular, at least for the foreseeable future.
"Consumers are willing and able to replace their mobile phone or tablet at a quicker rate then their employer can afford to, and they expect to be able to use their latest gadget to improve productivity in the workplace," Absalom says. "Apple currently dominates the BYOD trend, and its periodic releases of new iPhones, iPads, and iOS make it relatively easy for enterprises to keep these employee-owned devices manageable and secure. However, the rise of Android and the forthcoming push on the Windows Phone pose increased security problems due to their dispersion across an ever-increasing number of devices. This rate of innovation means that MDM vendors are here to stay."
To view the report, The BYOD Gap: Trends, Strategy, and the State of Mobile Device Management, visit ovum.com.