Five years ago the enterprise was dominated by Blackberry, formerly known as RIM. In 2010 Blackberry had 43% U.S. smartphone market share. The popularity of Blackberry in the business world created a pressing need for mobile device management (MDM), which was created to enable IT full access and control to manage employee mobile devices. MDM was broadly accepted in the early days of enterprise mobility when companies bought Blackberry phones for their employees en masse.
In the intervening years, Blackberry’s market share plummeted to 1%, impacted by the rapid adoption of iPhone and Android smartphones by consumers who then brought those devices to work. Employees balked at the idea of carrying two phones—one for work and one for personal use. Enterprises stopped buying phones for employees and pivoted to using employee’s consumer devices. Blackberry failed to respond to the consumerization of IT and now there are questions about whether Blackberry’s smartphone business can survive.
It was in the interest of business to boost productivity for employers by accommodating employee demand for BYOD (Bring Your Own Device). A single device gave employees the flexibility to easily shift from personal to work use, anywhere, and anytime. The rapid growth of BYOD and the booming smartphone app market led to the creation of Mobile Application Management (MAM), services that narrowly limited management and control of specific business applications. In theory, MAM was a perfect compromise for employees and employers, but in practice the experience was rocky since it couldn’t be easily extended to support the majority of native app-store applications. Several small evolutionary stages refined the experience such as MIM, and MCM, followed by a detour on the MXM naming convention to EMM (Enterprise Mobility Management). EMM is nothing more than combination of legacy MDM and MAM solutions tied to a secure container that keeps enterprise data secure. Though the EMM category is collectively a multi-billion-dollar business, it is being rapidly commoditized by the smartphone operating systems, which are appropriating native support for device management functionality.
What’s next in the evolution of enterprise mobility management? With the device, application, and data firmly under control, the only remaining gap is the network. Smartphones contain multiple network interfaces for remotely accessing data, e.g. 4G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and NFC. Some network interfaces support metered, and secure networks. Other network interfaces support transport over free and unsecure networks. Network security and the control of access costs are the missing links in today’s EMM solutions.
Syntonic DataFlex completes enterprise mobility management by providing 1) split billing to segment business from personal traffic on any network, 2) enhanced network security for real-time threat detection and notification, and 3) business app-level analytics to guide corporate mobile app investments and budgeting.