Apple and Google disrupt enterprise IT with bring your own device trend
By Richard Absalom, Ovum
08 November 2011 – The smartphone and tablet marketing strategies of Apple and Google are having an enormous, disruptive impact on enterprise mobile device strategies, according to Ovum.
In a new report, the independent technology analyst reveals the findings of research that shows that the two dominant players are turning traditional enterprise mobile device initiatives on their heads.
It states that Apple and Google’s decisions to target solely consumers with their devices is reducing the role of the IT department, and handing control to employees, with the rise of the “bring your own device” (BYOD) phenomenon. This, in turn, is increasing the device data security and management challenges for organisations, and is driving a boom in mobile device management services.
Richard Absalom, Ovum consumer impact IT analyst and author of the report, commented: “Apple and Google’s marketing and product strategies for iPhone and Android are geared toward the consumer market, not the demanding enterprise market.
“In the past, enterprises have driven adoption of the latest computing hardware, having been courted by device manufacturers and distributors for large volume orders. However, the huge popularity of iOS and Android devices in consumer markets means enterprises are now having to respond to employee demand to use devices that the enterprise has no control over, to access corporate data and applications.
“This is shifting enterprises away from the traditional model of IT department control and forcing them to plug the gap with a BYOD strategy. With Apple and Android driving the BYOD trend, the individual employee will become an increasingly important primary device channel into the enterprise.”
According to the report, the BYOD trend among enterprises is here to stay for as long as Apple and Google maintain their current market strategies. Absalom commented: “The constant stream of new mobile devices pushed to consumers means that BYOD is here to stay, at least in the medium term. Consumers are willing and able to replace their mobile phone or tablet at a quicker rate then their employer can afford to, and they expect to be able to use their latest gadget to improve productivity in the workplace.”
Ovum’s research finds that the security issues that the BYOD trend poses for enterprises have spawned extraordinary growth for mobile device management platform (MDM) vendors during the past 12 months, due to their ability to help enterprises cope with the influx of new platforms and devices on to the corporate network.
Absalom commented: “Apple currently dominates the BYOD trend, and its periodic releases of new iPhones, iPads, and iOS make it relatively easy for enterprises to keep these employee-owned devices manageable and secure. However, the rise of Android and the forthcoming push on the Windows Phone pose increased security problems due to their dispersion across an ever-increasing number of devices.
"This rate of innovation means that MDM vendors are here to stay. It is unrealistic for most IT departments to keep up with every device, platform, and API update needed to keep their data secure."