Mobile Device Management

Emerging Enterprise Tech: Goodbye to MDM, Hello to Wearable Tech

As emerging technologies continue to evolve and play a larger role in the enterprise, what does this mean for the future of IT management? When these new technologies hit the market, the tech world buzzes about what it means for the future of enterprises and often it’s hard to sift through what’s an over-hyped fad, and what’s here to stay as a valuable business resource.

Not only does IT have to manage personal devices, but the corporate data and apps that users are accessing on these personal devices.  Management is losing control of where, when and from what device employees are working – creating a Bring Your Own Everything environment that potentially enhances productivity, but significantly increases security risks. IT not only has to support it all, but is also held responsible for securing it all – devices, apps, software, users, etc. In this evolving enterprise environment, even the most hyped, trendy tech may not survive. In fact, we’ll see tech trends dissipate in order to make room for better technologies that prove to be more than just buzzwords.

Death of boutique IT management vendors

As mobile devices continue to be commonplace in business environments, specialized companies will not be able to compete with the more inclusive offerings that manage all endpoints. There will no longer be mobile device management (MDM) as a separate function. Instead, specialized mobile companies will be bought up as big companies offer strong all-inclusive offerings that manage smartphones, tablets, desktops and whatever comes next – such as wearable tech. In the next few years, the industry will witness the death of MDM as its functions are rolled into configuration management. Niche MDM firms will need to adapt or position themselves to be acquired by larger IT management companies, or they will not survive.

To prepare for this, IT departments should start looking now to vendors that offer a more integrated offering that will manage desktops, laptops and mobile devices, as opposed to managing each separately. IT will have options for integrated management solutions, which will be important as new device types start to become relevant in business environments, so the wheel doesn’t need to be reinvented for each new technology.  

Wearable technology invades the enterprise

Right now, there are still many unknowns regarding wearable technology, specifically from an enterprise computing perspective, similar to years ago when smartphones hit the market and no one knew the significant impact they would have on business. There is great potential for this emerging segment in the enterprise, in particular, when coupled with enterprise functions such as collaboration to integrate data in a highly-personalized way adding value to the workforce. But as they gain traction in enterprise environments, wearable devices will become just another set of endpoints to be managed. There is no market for WDM (Wearable Device Management) – this will need to be rolled into broad endpoint management so the wheel isn’t re-invented each time a new device enters the enterprise.

The ecosystem of technologies and processes that exist today are making business processes more efficient, productive and exciting than ever before. As watches and glasses are developed that integrate with tech around us, we’re reminded that we’ve only hit the tip of the iceberg, and there is much more potential for emerging enterprise tech. The companies who will succeed in creating better business experiences through tech will be those that can learn to separate hype from value, and integrate emerging technologies into their existing environments without disrupting business processes or starting from scratch.  Smartphones took IT by surprise, as it was the first time they needed to learn how to protect corporate data on personal devices, hence creating the market for MDM. As for managing new technologies – will we see a market for WDM? No, not likely. More likely, as wearables are adopted in the enterprise, the “M” will be dropped in MDM and IT will simply deal with device management. MDM paved the way for personal devices in the enterprise, and as its hype settles down, IT needs to prepare for securely and productively managing business processes with a new wave of devices.   


Tom Bice is VP of Product Marketing at Novell


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Tom Bice

Tom Bice is VP of Product Marketing at Novell

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