Now that Managed Services and the Cloud have had a little bit of time to percolate, without many business owners realizing it, another new wave of technology has snuck up on them. While Blackberries were once the defacto standard corporate answer to accessing email remotely, iPhones and Droids were taking over the personal device market. And while this was happening, a subtle but forceful wave has swept over the business environment changing just about everything related to remote access. The iPad came and added some serious inertia to this movement. What is this wave I'm talking about? Well, if you haven't heard - it's called BYOD (Bring Your Own Device). This is the concept of staff bringing in their own personal devices and accessing various pieces of corporate information - email, documents, even remote access right into network resources.
While this concept (remote access) isn't all that new, the capabilities of these new devices along with the concept of actually managing them and controlling them is. While BYOD has its own inherent obstacles to overcome, they can all be wrapped up into the concept of MDM - Mobile Device Management. This is the overarching concept of how the IT department goes about managing these devices - both personal ones as well as company issued. From an IT management perspective, it's becoming one of the most difficult things to control. And we're only at the infant stage of this movement.
I’ve seen estimates that the worldwide cloud opportunity is anywhere between $166 billion and $280 billion in the next few years. Compare this with the estimates of mobility representing between $1 and $2 trillion dollars! This only begins to show what we're talking about here.
Anyway you look at it, without an organized approach, a defined set of policies to implement, and the appropriate tools to do it, Mobile Device Management is just a concept to most. While MDM can be quite a messy undertaking, it's critical to understand its importance. Without the appropriate approach, hours and hours of time could be wasted setting up and managing these devices manually. Without managing and controlling access to these devices, proprietary information could now be accessed from anywhere by anyone. What would the cost be to your company if your competitor got a hold of your client list? What would the cost be if you lost proprietary intellectual property? If you were a CPA firm, could your business continue if your clients knew that all of your tax returns were in some unauthorized person's hands? If you're an investment advisor, what are you doing to ensure you're meeting your fiduciary responsibilities and SEC compliance? If you're in the health care field, what are you doing to ensure these devices are controlling access to information to ensure you're meeting HIPAA compliance?
In the old days, all of these issues could easily (relatively speaking) be controlled within the confines of the computing resources within the four walls of your office. Even with the advent of "The Cloud", these are still relatively controllable issues. Mobile devices (and the different flavors of them all) add to the level of complexity exponentially.
This is where we come in. As a Managed Service Provider we have the systems, processes, and resources already in place to take this on for our clients. Mobile Device Management is just another opportunity for us to help our clients manage and control their information resources as well as their information. This is within our area of expertise and provides a great value proposition to our clients. While this is a new trend now, I believe it's going to be the future of computing - and we're just the right guys to help our clients navigate through these waters. I'd love to hear what you think of this latest "trend".