Two thirds of enterprises (65%) will adopt a mobile device management (MDM) solution for their corporate liable users over the next five years, according to Gartner.
Gartner said that with the increased functionality of smartphones,and the increasing popularity of tablets, much of the network traffic and corporate data that was once the primary domain of enterprise PCs is now being shifted to mobile devices.
Gartner research vice president Phil Redman said that the era of the PC has ended and employees are becoming more mobile and looking for ways to still be connected wherever work needs to be done.
"The convenience and productivity gains that mobile devices bring are too tempting for most companies and their employees.
"Securing corporate data on mobile devices is a big challenge, but one that companies must embrace. Enterprises are struggling with how to support and secure this dynamic workforce."
Through 2017, 90% of enterprises are expected to have two or more mobile operating systems and in 2011 many firms have moved to Apple’s iOS as their main mobile device platform, with others to follow over the next 12 to 18 months.
MDM needs will continue to grow as enterprises continue to provide multiplatform support, and new platforms, such as Windows 8.
According to Gartner, tablets are a further driving force for enterprises adopting MDM and most companies and users are supporting the tablet for limited usage, typically for email and personal information management (PIM) functions.
Gartner said that mobile device proliferation is inevitable and the only way that IT staff can maintain control is by separating mobile computing devices into three classes, such as trusted standard devices provided by the company, tolerated devices and non-supported devices.
Redman said, "This is just the start for MDM. More data is being put on mobile devices, and enterprises are fast developing their own applications to support their mobile users."
"As mobile devices continue to displace traditional PCs, enterprises will look to their existing MDM systems to support more devices and enterprise applications and data," added Redman.
The research observed that MDM vendors are going beyond security, in oder to support enterprise and third-party applications, data and content and forecasted that next two years would see MDM platforms broaden out and become more enterprise mobile system management platforms, than being mere devices.