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Analysis: Mobile Device Management

Can't afford the problems inherent in unmanaged handhelds? A strategic mobility initiative must include device management to keep your users in sync. We evaluate the four leading architectures.

   

There's a lot of evidence that today's enterprise IS going mobile. The mobile-application market may experience double-digit growth and reach $3.5 billion by 2010, according to IDC. Enterprises like the fact that gains in productivity can be had as employees can work from virtually anywhere.

That mobility brings with it the need for a cohesive management strategy for handheld devices. But as companies have moved to take advantage of mobile productivity gains, they've done so without a centralized approach. In fact, a recent In-Stat survey of 505 executive from seven vertical markets regarding their deployment and adoption of wireless data applications found that about half of organizations let users pick their mobile device, carrier and pricing plan.

The problem with such a laissez-faire attitude toward enterprise mobile deployments is that it can counter improvements in productivity and lead to security vulnerabilities. Forcing users onto a single platform, such as the BlackBerry, simply may not be practical; MDM (mobile device management) systems can provide a means to perform device lockdown, security support, inventory and policy management, and backup while still letting users select their own devices.

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