The rise of MDM

But where do opportunities lie for solution providers serving the MDM segment?

Tags: Citrix Systems DubaiCitrix Systems IncorporationManageEngineVMware Incorporated
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The rise of MDM
By  Manda Banda Published  August 19, 2018

Mobile device management (MDM) is a core component of enterprise mobility management (EMM) which also includes mobile application management, identity and access management and enterprise file sync and share.

The intent of MDM is to optimise the functionality and security of mobile devices within the enterprise while simultaneously protecting the corporate network. The feature looks at solution provider opportunities in the MDM space and how this segment is evolving in the Middle East.

According to analyst Micromarket Monitor, the Middle East and Africa MDM market is expected to grow from $129.9m in 2013 to $406.7m in 2019 growing at an estimated of CAGR of 22% during the forecast period.

The analyst firm said increasing usage of mobile devices for corporate work is one of the major factors driving the Middle East and MDM market.

Micromarket Monitor said the rapid rise in the number of employees using mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets across the globe has brought in the concept of MDM.

Micromarket Monitor stated that the Middle East and Africa MDM market is showing a steady growth due to the high adoption rate of mobile devices.

Mathivanan V, vice president, ManageEngine said the growth in the mobile device management sector in the Middle East is primarily fuelled by the demands of the dynamic mobile workforce, the need for businesses to streamline their operations and the proliferation of new technologies, including the security concerns that come along withthese advancements.

Mathivanan said the massive surge in mobile banking, proliferation of the Internet of Things (IoT) in healthcare, increase in mobile point-of-sale counters in retail, and adoption of smart wearables in the hospitality and logistics space all reflect the growth in mobile device management.

“A few of the most exciting recent developments in mobile device management technology include the options to control mobile OS updates to negate security vulnerabilities and remotely view iOS devices for troubleshooting managed devices, as well as the introduction of Apple Business Manager and Android P,” he said.

Taj El-Khayat, regional director, Citrix Middle East and North Africa, said MDM has increasingly become essential within organisations in the Middle East.

El-Khayat added that in the past, MDM was seen as a way for IT to lock down devices to protect company data from being leaked. “Now, mobile devices are considered tools that organisations want to enable, not restrict and organisations are learning that this solution can really make a difference in employees’ productivity,” he said

Ossama Eldeeb, regional channel senior manager, Middle East, Turkey and North Africa at VMware, said MDM is rapidly rising in the Middle East, as more employees bring their own devices, and as more organisations need their employees to work remotely. “BYOD and MDM early adopters include banking and finance, education, and telecommunications,” he said.

El-Khayat explained that Middle East countries such as UAE and KSA have one of the highest mobile penetration rates in the world. “Increasing usage of mobile devices in the workplace is one of the major factors driving the region’s MDM market,” he said. “Another driver of MDM in this region is organisations that are increasingly embracing digital transformation and adopting emerging technologies.”

He said workplace transformation remains a critically important phenomenon across all industries and has led to many decision-makers focusing on adopting technologies like MDM to effectively manage areas like performance, security, expense control and analytics.

With more vertical markets now leading with deployment of mobile device management solutions, channel partners are being urged to select industry segments where they can develop domain expertise.

According to El-Khayat, in the Middle East, the biggest opportunities lie in sectors such as oil and gas, healthcare, governments and financial services. “These sectors are increasingly leveraging the notion of the mobile workforce and freedom of working and accessing data from any device, anytime and any network,” he said.

ManageEngine’s Mathivanan said a growing number of organisations are now incorporating mobile device management as an integral part of their business strategy, especially after recognising the positive impact mobile devices have on employee productivity, collaboration among internal teams and customer satisfaction.

Eldeeb pointed out that Middle East CIOs are rapidly integrating MDM into their digital transformation to foster digital workspaces and enhance business competitiveness. “According to the ‘State of the Digital Workspace’ report by VMware and Forbes Insights, UAE organisations with digital workspaces said that applications increased productivity by 60%, and enhanced collaboration by 13%,” he said. “Saudi employees using digital workspaces are five times more likely to enhance productivity, and spend 19% less time on manual processes. Of EMEA CIOs with digital workspaces, 89% said that revenue could increase by 5 percent over 3 years.”

While the MDM is expected to continue growing in the Middle East and Africa market, channel partners still face challenges in developing solutions for their target audience.

According to VMware’s Eldeeb, the biggest Middle East MDM challenge is transforming the technology infrastructure, re-architecting the data centre, securing the channel between the data centre and mobile devices, and securing mobile devices. “Channel partners are vital for supporting organisations on their digital transformation and MDM strategies,” he said.

He explained that increasingly Middle East organisations are adopting cloud-based and software-defined MDM solutions, with security across network endpoints, identity management and single sign-on, and mobile operating systems.

Because the threats landscape and technology is changing rapidly, resellers should emphasise the need for robust yet secure solutions when making that important pitch to their customers.

El-Khayat said it is important for resellers to explain that whether it be a phone forgotten at the airport, or one stricken with a virus, knowing that the data on a comprised device is backed up and can remotely be wiped clean is peace of mind that is worth investing in. “Resellers can adopt a two-tiered approach when pitching MDM to the clients. First, a sound mobility strategy is necessary to ensure success, and should be created prior to deployment,” he said. “This should involve stakeholders from key user groups, including sales, operations, services, human resources, legal and IT. Second is to have a contingency plan in place as accidents can and will take place, it’s only a matter of when.”

El-Khayat added that channel partners should also highlight the benefits the speed of provisioning, the assurance of security, and the ability to protect sensitive data can bring to customers.

El-Khayat pointed out that at Citrix, the company believes the future of enterprise mobility management is bright and that the possibilities for businesses are vast if the appropriate strategies are in place. “As more companies are opening up to BYOD policies, it will be important for companies to ensure both the flexibility of end users and the security and control of IT,” he said. “Today’s mobile workforce comes with an extremely complex and ever-increasing number of devices including PCs, laptops, mobile, IoT devices, and thin clients.”

He said this adds complexity that, if unmanaged, can lead to security and cost issues for businesses. “Therefore, it will be important to harness rapidly evolving technology advances to power the workspaces of the future while helping organisations become more secure,” he said.

Vmware’s Eldeeb said in the next 12 months, VMware is expected to see strong demand from its METNA channel partners for integrating MDM solutions for their customers. For example, added Eldeeb, VMware AirWatch can control how IT can manage and deliver applications and virtual private networks, VMware Workspace One solutions enable secure application and app store access. “In addition, VMware NSX can provide secure cloud-native apps with micro-segmentation for granular control,” he said. “We are also seeing increasing Middle East interest in the VMware AppDefense, which uses artificial intelligence-backed and automated cyber-threat responses to transform security from an obstacle to an enabler of new digital business models.”

Going forward, El-Khayat explained that Citrix is currently focused on its strategy to deliver the world’s best-integrated cloud services for the secure delivery of apps and data. “We believe that we are now poised to deliver industry-leading modern digital workspace services that are unified, secure, contextual, and modular, to help our customers improve the digital dexterity of their businesses and reimagine how and where work gets done,” he said.

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