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Status of Mobile Device Management (MDM)

Is the hype about MDM over?

Is the hype about MDM over?

According to a recent study by the 451 Group research firm:

  • Fewer than 15 percent of enterprises have deployed an MDM tool beyond Microsoft Exchange’s native capabilities.
  • Most organizations feel that encryption and password requirements, coupled with the remote lock and wipe capabilities, provided by Exchange is sufficient

So, do you really need to look into all the MDM products and try to justify the ROI?

MDM Status

Is Microsoft Exchange Active Sync (EAS) sufficient for you MDM needs?

EAS features:

  • Transmission Encryption: Requiring the use of SSL encryption for communications.
  • Strong Authentication: Supports the use of two-factor authentication or private/public keys for SSL certificates.
  • Remote Wipe: If a mobile phone is lost, stolen, or otherwise compromised, one can issue a remote wipe command from the Exchange Server computer or from any web browser by using Outlook Web Application.
  • Device Password Policies: Configurable option for device passwords - (1) Strength of password, (2) Inactivity time (3) Enforce password history, (4) Enable password recovery, and (5) Wipe device after failed attempts.
  • Device Encryption Policies: Can be set for group of users – (1) Requiring encryption on device and (2) Require encryption on storage cards.

EAS limitations:

  • No capability of managing applications on the device
  • No way of identifying which mailboxes have a mobile device paired with it or identify the number of mobile devices or type of mobile devices paired with a mailbox.
  • No audit trail – which may be needed for compliance need.
  • No way to get device inventory.
  • No private App Store.
  • No Mobile virtualization or secure app containers.

What if you are looking beyond what EAS provides?

Good Technology, Mobile Iron, and Airwatch seem to have emerged as the clear leaders in terms of market adoption.

There is a movement to erasing the artificial division between mobile and desktop management. There is a shift away from standalone “mobile device management” to “enterprise mobility management”.

There does not seem to be any open source MDM solution available – I have looked but have not been able to find any.

Do let me know if you have come across any solution.

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More Stories By Udayan Banerjee

Udayan Banerjee is CTO at NIIT Technologies Ltd, an IT industry veteran with more than 30 years' experience. He blogs at http://setandbma.wordpress.com.
The blog focuses on emerging technologies like cloud computing, mobile computing, social media aka web 2.0 etc. It also contains stuff about agile methodology and trends in architecture. It is a world view seen through the lens of a software service provider based out of Bangalore and serving clients across the world. The focus is mostly on...

  • Keep the hype out and project a realistic picture
  • Uncover trends not very apparent
  • Draw conclusion from real life experience
  • Point out fallacy & discrepancy when I see them
  • Talk about trends which I find interesting
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