Do you ever wonder if the increasing number of employees who use handheld devices containing sensitive company information is prompting IT managers to panic? Well, according to a report from ABI Research, mobile-device-management services are forecast to grow from $583 million in 2007 to more than $20 billion by 2013, for a compound annual growth rate of 80 percent. How's that for a resounding "yes"? By addressing concerns such policy development, procurement management and device/content services, mobile-device- management solutions promise to alleviate IT managers' concerns by securing, updating and managing employees' handheld devices.
It's easy to understand the considerable burden that mobile devices place on an IT department. Just ask Stephen Drake, program director of mobile enterprise at research firm IDC. For starters, he said, "Many of the devices being used in businesses today are actually being brought in by individuals. As a result, organizations aren't necessarily aware of what's out there, what's being used by their employees and what information these employees are accessing."
But that's not all. In the past, high-priced PDAs were used only in the workplace and were left abandoned in office cubicles for evenings and weekends. But due to the increased popularity of flexible work arrangements and mobile devices' enhanced storage capabilities, that's no longer the case . These days, mobile devices travel everywhere and store everything from the babysitter's home address to last quarter's sales revenue. "There's this growing convergence of personal and professional usage on these devices," warned Drake.
Further complicating matters is the fact that many companies don't adhere to a comprehensive and uniform approach to purchasing mobile devices and carrier services. Said Drake, "With a lack of policies, it's just the wild, wild west. People are just signing up with any carrier, using any device they want and in many cases, gaining access to corporate services without any knowledge of IT."
Unfortunately, chaos isn't the only byproduct of poor mobile-device management. If you fear the damage done by lost or stolen laptops, consider this: Shipments of converged mobile devices in the U.S. are expected to increase from 25.6 million in 2008 to 44.4 million in 2011. That's an explosive number of devices at risk of being compromised.
"There's the capacity to keep tremendous amounts of proprietary information on a mobile device," said Drake. "So companies are really in jeopardy of some potential catastrophes."
Fortunately, mobile-device-management solutions from vendors including Novell, Nokia and Sybase can help. These tools enable IT managers to:
Of course, mobile-device-management software can't safeguard against any and all mishaps. But with the proper technology and policies in place, it may just help IT managers sleep more soundly.
When was the last time you evaluated the performance of your current business phone system? For most people, the answer is too long ago. Phone systems are one of the most overlooked tools in business, even though they’re also one of the most important in terms of employee productivity. more
For years, all kinds of businesses depended on Private Branch Exchange (PBX) phone systems to help facilitate direct, line-to-line communication. Over the course of the past decade, however, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology quickly became the go-to resource for brands. more
While more businesses make the switch to VoIP every single day, there are also many that choose to stay with the system they are used to.The rationale is almost always the same. You don’t want to shake things up when what you are already using is working. more
Choosing a phone system for your business isn’t as easy as it looks. Most people learn this the hard way. You choose a new system, and everything seems fine. Until it isn’t. In hindsight the problems always seem obvious, yet countless businesses fall into the same traps every year. more