Managing mobile devices is becoming such a complex task that the market for products that do that for enterprises will grow to $5 billion annually by 2010, according to a study released Tuesday by Strategy Analytics.
Currently, the market for enterprise device management products is a tenth that size, the study noted. The problem, according to the study, is that most enterprises must support a wide variety of devices.
"Early enterprise adoption of mobility has either been the result of proactive, well considered strategies granting wireless access to process workers, or reactive short term measures in response to the uncoordinated purchases of wireless devices by knowledge workers," Cliff Raskind, Strategy Analytics' director of global wireless practice, said in a statement. "In both cases, IT managers have to make critical policy decisions to protect the integrity of enterprise IT services. Unlike PC's, this is exacerbated by unclear lines of device ownership and the mobility inherent in wireless devices."
The problem is becoming particularly acute in small and medium-sized businesses, the study said. That's because smaller enterprises are being increasingly compelled to support mobile devices but have fewer resources for managing myriad devices, according to the study.
Device management products track mobile devices and perform functions such as centrally applying security and other policies.