Mobile Device Management: We Don’t Think it’ll Last

When you saw hundreds of thousands of Blackberry handsets in the hands of roving executives, it’d have been obvious to many (and certainly for users of such mobile devices), that Mobile Device Management was an important part of IT management for many companies all over the world. That was when technology wasn’t something that the average John Doe would want to have anything to do with.

Today, technology seems to have plugged into consumerism. As a result, it suddenly is not so cool to be found without your own smartphone or tablet or both. Further, there are so many devices now that suddenly Mobile Device Management seems to be an archaic role or responsibility for IT functions. Here’s why we think so:

It’s IT headache that doesn’t seem to have payoffs

While most business centric applications are moving to the cloud, there seems to be little value in businesses trying to protect data access and control. Take the simple example of a small business with a team size of 10-15 users. Let’s also consider that the business adopted Google Apps as their first step towards cloud adoption.

We are sure you know that Data access and control is layered into Google Apps already. Google Apps allow restricted, user-defined sharing and application use. Now, other tools exist for data control, documents, and application access for medium-sized and larger business too (that includes mobiles as clients). Why use expensive Mobile Management Devices then?

If there’s a cloud, mobile devices can be self-managed

The cloud exists to obviate the need to store, access, and manage data on your own servers. Why install servers and build data centers as a business then? Since mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets access only a few applications (probably hosted on the cloud), it’s unlikely that there’d be a need for full-blown mobile device management.

Companies will eventually accept that users will want to bring in their own services, tools, and devices to work. From a business stand point, it’s virtually impossible – if not impractical – to micro manage device usage, network access, and infrastructure planning for every user.

IT Departments will cede control and “educate” instead

John Gold of Network World hits this topic right on with his post titled Technologies to Watch 2013: The Cloud Will Make BYOD a non-issue Eventually where he claims that the “multi-device” phenomenon is now a reality thanks to a survey from Forrester with about 10,000 global information workers.

At best, he declares, IT departments will create BYOD policies, educate users, inform users of possible security risks, and deploy granular control on data usage, document access, and application use.

What do you think: will BYOD kill IT Micro management of devices? Will Mobile Management Devices go extinct?

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