Organizations are increasingly spending more time, energy and IT staffing resources on mobile device management (MDM), with full-time employee staff requirements to manage smartphones increasing to a median of 3.6 per employees from a median of 2.9 per 1,000 mobile devices in 2011. That figure is expected to reach 4.0 in 2013, based on an Osterman Research survey of 117 mid to large enterprises, the majority of which are using Microsoft Exchange (79 percent) for email. The corresponding annual IT labor cost per user was $294 in 2012, and is projected to rise to $339 in 2013, according to survey results.
The survey also found that 32 percent of the corporate workforce in midsize and large North American organizations employed a smartphone in late 2011, the study noted these figures will grow to 41 percent in 2012 and 50 percent by 2013. BlackBerry leads the penetration of smartphone devices in the workplace with 42 percent of users, followed by the Apple iPhone with 30 percent, Google Android-based devices with 21 percent, and Microsoft Windows Phone devices with six percent.
The increasing complexity associated with mobile device management in the workplace is being driven in large part by the growing number of personally owned devices or BYOD that are being used by employees alongside company-supplied devices, Michael Osterman, president of Osterman Research, said in a prepared statement. Organizations that do not address MDM properly face a growing set of risks, including an inability to adequately secure and retain data on mobile devices, greater downtime, higher IT costs, regulatory compliance violations and reduced employee productivity."
Among organizations that have not yet deployed an MDM solution, 32 percent said they would deploy one in 2013 and additional 24 percent plan to deploy one in 2014. The potential for loss of intellectual property was the leading factor for deploying an MDM solution, cited by 34 percent of respondents. Thirty-one percent of organizations switching to a new MDM platform, said they would likely select a cloud-based solution, and 55 percent of those respondents said they would choose a private cloud solution for security reasons.
One of the surveys key findings was that Microsoft Exchanges mobile device management capabilities fall short. In fact, 36 percent of respondents that would switch to a new MDM platform or adopt one for the first time indicated that native Exchange policies are too few and insufficient to meet their requirements, Scott Gode, vice president of product management and marketing for Azaleos said in a press statement. With MDM requirements increasing because of the influx of personal devices, its not surprising to see many organizations leaning towards managed services and/or private cloud solutions to address their needs.