The Mobile Device Management Opportunity for MSPs
Apple caused quite the buzz last week officially unveiling the new iPad. The latest enhancements to Apple’s tablet help to further drive home the company’s theme of a “Post-PC Revolution.” We wanted to set aside some time to talk mobile, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), and what this means for the channel. As we close in on the first quarter of 2012, it seems like escaping the buzz surrounding BYOD is next to impossible. Mobile devices are synonymous with BYOD, thus resulting in an up and coming opportunity for MSPs to capitalize on mobile device management.
In December of 2011, MSPmentor predicted that mobile device management (MDM) would become one of the most in demand managed services of this year:
“When it comes to MDM, businesses don’t really have a choice. Employees are demanding that their employers allow them to use their own mobile devices. So businesses are turning to mobile device management software to help them monitor devices coming onto their networks.”
It’s becoming increasingly common for employees to use personal devices to conduct business-related tasks within their corporation’s network. The ‘pros’ are that employers see an increase in productivity through mobility and a decrease in IT capital and telecom-related costs. The major downside is that IT staff is forced to ensure the same level of security and management of employees own devices that they do for corporate owned or supplied devices, causing the demand for MDM. As such, the massive influx of employee-owned devices has essentially amounted to a bigger opportunity for those working in the channel. Trends such as BYOD and the consumerization of IT are offering a new way to grow MSP support and the RMM businesses. As with any new business venture, there are important things that must be taken into consideration; managed services for employee-owned devices aren’t likely to come in a neat, repeatable package. Although the SMB market shares size in common with one another, policies enforced from within vary widely from shop to shop.
SMBs are growing more and more concerned with risks related to IT security, especially those that allow employees to work from personal smartphones and tablets. Taking an in-depth look at a customer’s network and offering a service that will properly manage their mobile devices adds a layer of security protection to an otherwise insecure network. Because many businesses still do not know how many devices are connected to their networks, they are left an open network susceptible to attacks and downtime, which ultimately hurts their pocketbooks. Mobile device management promises to resolve any conflict triggered by BYOD and company IT policy enforcement.
There is an opportunity for MSPs to converge their security systems with this “new” idea of mobile device management through the management of policies, accessing control and patching data on devices. What will you do to keep up with this growing trend and support your customers across a variety of platforms?