MDM Costs to Soar; Azaleos Partners with AirWatch

MDM Costs to Soar; Azaleos Partners with AirWatch

While costs to manage mobile devices is expected to soar by 48 percent by 2013, that doesn’t mean that the guys who manage the money are ready to cough up the cash to pay for it. In the post-recession era where IT spending was hit hard by careful examination of budgets, there’s likely to be initial reluctance by some to get on board with mobile device management. But here’s the event that will turn that around.

It will only take one executive leaving his iPhone or iPad behind in the cab or train or plane to make an organization realize the huge risks they face by being unprotected. That’s according to Scott Gode, VP of product management and marketing at Azaleos, a global private cloud service provider that offers Managed Exchange, managed SharePoint and managed Lync. Azaleos is now adding mobile device management, powered by MDM provider AirWatch, to that portfolio of services, due to popular demand by customers.

Mobile Device Management Costs Rising

The company confirmed that demand in a study it commissioned with Osterman Research which revealed that fulltime employee staff requirements to manage smartphones increased from a median of 2.9 per 1,000 mobile devices in 2011 to 3.6 today and is expected to reach 4.0 in 2013. That’s where the 48 percent increase comes in; the corresponding annual IT labor cost per user was $229 in 2011, $294 in 2012, and is projected to rise to $339 in 2013.  (One way to save on that cost, of course, is to outsource that IT service.) The results come from a survey of 117 mid to large enterprises, most of which are using Microsoft Exchange (79 percent) for email.

Here’s a closer look at some of the findings:
  • Among organizations that haven’t yet deployed MDM, 32 percent will deploy one in 2013 and additional 24 percent plan to deploy one in 2014
  • The leading factor (34 percent) cited for deploying an MDM solution was the potential for loss of intellectual property
  • Among respondents switching to a new MDM platform, 31 percent indicated that they would likely select a cloud-based solution. Of those, 55 percent said they would choose a private cloud solution for security reasons
The top three reasons cited for choosing a cloud MDM solution were simpler administration/maintenance (69 percent), predictable/reduced costs (39 percent), and an unwillingness to use internal IT staff resources (21 percent).

“One of the survey’s key findings was that Microsoft Exchange’s 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,” Gode said in a statement. In a phone call Gode told me that while Microsoft Exchange’s Active Sync, for example, could perform a remote wipe of a device, it could only wipe the entire device. That’s going to annoy any BYOD user. Gode says Azaleos’s MDM solution, powered by AirWatch is more elegant, providing a selective wipe option.

Organizations Weigh Risks, Costs

As for presenting the MDM solution to customers, Gode says it’s easy to get an audience with executives to talk about the service, but there is one of three responses:
  1. Let’s go. Where do I sign?
  2. Yeah, I’m convinced, but the budget is not there yet. Let’s put a plan in place. (25 percent of those who haven’t deployed MDM say they are putting it off until 2014, Gode says.)
  3. What I’ve got now is good enough (Usually what they’ve got is BlackBerry Enterprise Server or Microsoft Active Sync.)

Azaleos' New MDM Service

Azaleos’s new MDM service will offer proactive 24x7 monitoring and management of company-issued and employee-owned mobile devices. Azaleos says some of the new features include the following:
  • Device security management for lost, non-compliant, offline and jail broken devices, as well as data leakage protection for sensitive corporate information
  • AirWatch MDM server architecture activation, configuration, monitoring, management, tuning and service interruption detection
  • Private cloud/on-premise deployment, and a public cloud/SaaS option with the MDM servers hosted by AirWatch
  • Continuous monitoring by Azaleos experts for all leading device platforms including iOS, Android, Blackberry and Windows Phone.
Gode had some other thoughts about trends in MDM and the shape it will take in the coming months and years. I'll share those in a separate blog later.

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