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Mobile Device Management - Does the Hype Match the Need?


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July 10, 2012

Mobile Device Management - Does the Hype Match the Need?

By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor

The subject of mobile device management has garnered much attention in the last few years as consumers increasingly adopt smartphones and express a desire to carry them on the job. The BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) phenomenon sparked a whole new demand for policy use within the enterprise, but is this just a passing fad? Is mobile device management even a necessary investment?

These questions were examined in a recent MSP Mentor report, highlighting the complexities surrounding mobile device management and its impact in the market today. As consumers continue to adopt new and exciting devices, they expect to be able to use them at all times. The question is whether or not the corporate IT department should have the right to control those devices and dictate how they are used. 

Newness wears off, however. No matter how much we may like the new device at first and even integrate its use into our daily processes, will it completely replace the old way of doing things? The MSP Mentor writer stressed his discontent with his iPad, even after faithful use in every meeting. When trying to integrate his iPad use with his laptop and summarizing his notes, he missed the old pen and paper standard. 

Gone were his doodles and emphasis marks and other hints that something written at the time of the discussion is worth revisiting. Sure, there may be tools out there to replace these standard elements, but do battery life and screen capabilities make them ready for prime time?

The point of the MSP Mentor article is not to demonize mobile device management as it is an important strategy within the enterprise. Instead, the writer suggests that the current hype surrounding the practice could be ahead of its time. The writer believes that tablets and smartphones are ideal for accessing data, but lack the necessary technology to serve as viable business input tools.

The right approach instead may be to focus less on the mobile access devices and more on the networks they connect to. After all, the failure of one device will do little to impact other users. The failure of the network, however, can render the enterprise corporation dead in the water. 

Therefore, the question remains – should mobile device management require the monitoring of devices, or a new policy to address the monitoring and management of the network?

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Edited by Jamie Epstein

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