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Enterprise Mobility research from Gartner and CompTIA highlights opportunities, challenges for MSPs

Comptia logoIf you were wondering why Microsoft felt a need to “remind” everyone that they are a player in the Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) market last week, you didn’t have to wait long. A couple of key EMM studies were released this week including interesting new research from CompTIA, which highlights potential business opportunities for solutions providers, and Gartner Group’s EMM Magic Quadrant.

The MQ provides a snapshot of the EMM vendor landscape, grading each vendor by completeness of vision and ability to execute and then labeling them – Leaders, Challengers, Visionaries and Niche Players – based on their capabilities. Fourteen vendors get some love from Gartner, from leaders MobileIron and IBM to niche players Tangoe and Landesk. Microsoft isn’t mentioned, despite making several EMM moves late in 2013 (The company has stated that it is confident it will be included next year).

Gartner defines EMM as the following:

“Enterprise mobility management (EMM) suites consist of policy and configuration management tools and a management overlay for applications and content intended for mobile devices based on smartphone OSs. They are an evolution from previous generation MDM products that lacked application and content management. IT organizations and service providers use EMM suites to deliver IT support to mobile end users and to maintain security policies.”

Gartner logoAccording to Gartner, an EMM suite provides hardware inventory, application inventory, OS configuration management, mobile app deployment, mobile app configuration and policy management, remote view and control for troubleshooting, execute remote actions and mobile content management.

The vendors:

Leaders: AirWatch, MobileIron, Citrix, Good Technology and IBM.

Challengers: SAP.

Visionaries: SOTI, Symantec and Sophos.

Niche Players: Blackberry, Tangoe, LANDesk, Absolute Software and Globo.

Gartner expects the EMM to continue evolving and thus posing challenges for vendors and service providers. “As enterprises' use of mobility becomes increasingly complex, their requirements to protect data and support users will become more complex as well.”

Meanwhile CompTIA’s Third Annual Trends in Enterprise Mobility found that while many organizations are pushing aggressively ahead with mobility programs, many are facing significant challenges – challenges that could mean major opportunities for service providers.

Key findings:

Among companies that provide mobile devices, 76 percent provide smartphones and 61 percent provide tablets, implying that many workers are operating in a threedevice environment.

More than 70 percent of all companies, regardless of BYOD stance, have made some level of investment in mobile devices and technologies.

There has been no significant progress in building formal mobility policies over the past year. Just 30 percent of companies have such a policy in place.

Security is one of the top challenges for companies, including the ability to centrally monitor and control security; and poor security implementation by end users.

Essentially, managing mobility – from procurement to management – is a major challenge for many organizations. CompTIA found that small companies are hampered by serious resources constraints, medium-sized firms have more resources but have to balance the needs of IT with the needs of users department and large firms have to deal with a high degree of complexity, with a large number of employees using a significant variety of devices. Alleviating these pain points could mean significant revenues for solution providers.

“Mobile devices get used heavily in employees’ personal lives, but there are enterprise aspects such as encryption, proper security settings and enterprise apps that require further and ongoing education,” said Seth Robinson, director, technology analysis, CompTIA in a statement.

The Third Annual Trends in Enterprise Mobility study is based on an online survey of 400 business and IT executives in the United State who are directly involved in setting or executing mobility policies and processes within their organization. The survey was conducted in March 2014. More data from the study is available at http://www.slideshare.net/comptia/slideshare-charts-2014-mobility-study.

Alex Anderson is an Ottawa, Canada-based freelance writer and content marketer. He has been writing about the tech sector in one way or another for more than 15 years. Got a story idea? Want to talk about something else? You can reach him at alex (at) smbnation.com or alex_anderson (at) live.ca, on LinkedIn or follow him on Twitter @Al3x_Ander5on

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