are now considered by many to be an essential resource in daily life.

The transition to IT mobility appears to have snuck up on us. In fact, until just a few years ago, the most

common mobile devices were very specialized resources used principally for inventory, tracking, and

data entry. For instance, these have been commonly used by shipping companies for tracking packages

and recording signatures. Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) saw some traction in the marketplace with

the introduction of the Palm Pilot in the mid-90s, and it was around that same time that some early

smartphones were being introduced by companies including IBM, Nokia, and Ericson but these

platforms were only able to provide very rudimentary capabilities and struggled with user interface

challenges. The first open smartphone operating system, Symbian, was introduced in 2000 and was

notable for marrying PDA functionality with telephony, but it still lacked substantial applications to

achieve broad value for consumers.

Research in Motion (RIM) introduced the first BlackBerry smartphone in 2003 and the platform grew

significantly in popularity thanks to its ability to send and retrieve emails. This was a milestone for the

business use of smartphones as enterprises began adopting BlackBerry devices to improve employee

portability and productivity. Often BlackBerry smartphones were brought in to replace antiquated

pager systems as a far superior method of ensuring personnel were contactable. To support email and

other messaging connectivity to the BlackBerry, RIM developed the BlackBerry Enterprise Server

(BES). In many ways, the BES system delivered the first true mobile device management platform and

achieved fairly broad adoption, particularly in larger enterprises.

But it really wasn’t until Apple’s introduction of the iPhone in 2007 that the mobile device revolution

began. The iPhone integrated PDA functionality with telephony and entertainment to provide a unified

and portable technology platform that was easy to use and much more accessible to the general public.

The commercial success of the iPhone led to an explosion of iPhone-like devices and platforms

entering the market place most notably with devices built on Googles Android operating system that

was introduced towards the end of 2007. Not content with just the iPhone success, Apple made another

huge leap with the release of the iPad in April 2010. Apple currently dominates the tablet market space

with tens of millions of iPads sold; however, new tablet devices have also been introduced that may

challenge Apple dominance, such as those built on Android, Windows, and BlackBerry platforms.

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©2011 Enterprise Management Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved. |

Enterprise Mobile Device Management: How Smartphones

and Tablets are Changing Workforce IT Requirements


The Evolution of Mobile IT

Just about anyone who has adopted a smartphone can testify as to what a life-altering experience these

devices offer. Mobile devices provide self-contained and easily portable resources for accessing critical

(and often not-so-critical) information and communications at your fingertips anytime and anyplace.

It is estimated that roughly half of all Americans own or regularly

use a smartphone resulting in a staggering number of continuous

emails, Web searches, Web commerce, calendar updates, application

It seems we’ve crossed a

downloads, and oh, yes phone calls. The popular mobile

device game, Angry Birds, alone has been downloaded by more

than 350 million mobile users eager to smash evil pig minions, and

consumers now officially spend more time utilizing mobile device

applications than Web browsing on PCs. It seems we’ve crossed a

threshold where mobile devices are not just a convenience tool, but

threshold where mobile devices

are not just a convenience

tool, but are now considered

by many to be an essential

resource in daily life.

Enterprise Mobile Device Management: How Smartphones

and Tablets are Changing Workforce IT Requirements

Although mobile devices encompass a number of different resources principally designed for portability,

general discussions on the topic are clearly focused on two platform types: smartphones and tablets.

This is principally due to the commonality of operating platforms (i.e., iOS, Android, BlackBerry, etc.).

Laptops, for instance, would technically be considered a mobile platform since they are self-contained

and portable, but the platforms they support (MacOS, Windows, Linux) are more akin to desktop PCs,

and therefore adopt the same applications, service, and management practices.

The Mobile Workforce

As consumers more broadly have adopted smartphones and tablets for personal use, they increasingly

have employed these devices for business purposes. This employee push to utilize mobile devices

to achieve professional requirements supplemented enterprise use of BlackBerry and other portable

devices, resulting in the massive business-focused utilization of mobile devices prevalent today.

Enterprise mobile device use is advantageous to both employees and employers. For the end user,

mobility means improved freedom and flexibility. No longer are employees tethered to large and

cumbersome devices in order to perform professional tasks. End users have greater opportunities for

telecommuting and for establishing time to deal with personal matters such as family challenges without

impacting professional productivity. Mobile devices also improve user time efficiency. Catching up on a

few emails while standing on a line at the bank or waiting in a conference room for attendees to arrive

may not seem like a significant work impact, but the accumulated productivity achieved from a number

of these opportunities can add up to measurable performance improvements with little or no adverse

effect on personal or professional lifestyle.

Organizations also directly benefit from improved employee

productivity and response time achieved from mobile device use.

As personnel are able to more quickly respond to customer requests

and business impacting events, service performance is increased,

improving customer satisfaction and overall business image.

Additionally, faster employee response time translates into greater

agility to respond to emergencies and unexpected challenges. In

short, enterprises are better able to compete in the marketplace when

their employees have the mobile tools to respond to requests at a

moment’s notice, regardless of whether or not they are physically

in the workplace.

As personnel are able to more

quickly respond to customer

requests and business

impacting events, service

performance is increased,

improving customer satisfaction

and overall business image.

Enterprise Mobile Device Management

With an increasing reliance on mobile devices to achieve business success, it is essential that

organizations have methods for ensuring these devices are both productive and secure. At a minimum,

the same principle elements that need to be supported on desktop systems should also be extended

to mobile devices. Unfortunately, expanding existing management services to include mobile devices

is not as straightforward as it may seem. Mobile devices function with different operating platforms

than desktops and use different sets of applications. Also, since by definition the devices are designed

to operate remotely, connection to the endpoints is not persistent, limiting administration time to only

those moments when the device is network accessible. The small form factor of mobile devices also

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©2011 Enterprise Management Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved. |

Enterprise Mobile Device Management: How Smartphones

and Tablets are Changing Workforce IT Requirements

limits system resources (memory, CPU, etc.), increasing the impact management processes have on them.

And, in many cases, mobile devices are owned by end users, rather than the supporting organization,

making it challenging to insist on standardized configurations or the loading of management agents.

Naturally, automation can greatly simplify mobile device management processes, and a number of

automated solution sets are available in the marketplace that are specifically designed to achieve mobile

device management objectives. Some products are focused on managing specific platform types (such

as the BES platform for BlackBerry support) or to support specific management practices (i.e., email

delivery, application deployment, security, etc.). With a greater number of heterogeneous mobile device

requirements, however, many organizations are turning to management platforms that support multiple

types of endpoints and include a variety of automation services. Some critical support feature sets that

may be included in an enterprise mobile device management solution include:

Application provisioning provides the delivery and installation of software and software


Asset management identifies and tracks hardware and software components on managed

devices, and records all details in a centralized data repository.

• Backup and disaster recovery performs regular backup of critical data to ensure it is recoverable

in the event of device loss or damage.

Configuration management ensures devices are optimally configured for performance and

will meet compliance objectives.

Data security encompasses the security of any sensitive data accessed by or delivered to the

device, such as with the use of data encryption or malware detection.

• Device security prevents business and user impacts related to the physical loss of a device, such

as with “lock and wipe” and device tracking capabilities.

Remote access and control enables remote resolution of any technical problems that may

occur on a device.

Research and Methodology

To help identify critical business requirements for mobile device management, ENTERPRISE

MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATES® (EMA™) analysts conducted primary research on the topic

involving two separate surveys. The first survey targeted mobile device end users and netted 243

respondents. Only one principle qualifier question identified this group on the affirmative:

Do you regularly use a smartphone or tablet for business purposes?

The second survey was directed at IT managers responsible for supporting enterprise mobile devices

and yielded 105 respondents. Qualifying questions included:

Please rate your knowledge level of your organization’s mobile management requirements and

capabilities: not at all knowledgeable, a little knowledgeable, very knowledgeable?

Approximately, what percentage of your organization utilized mobile devices, including

smartphones and tablets, to achieve business goals?

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Enterprise Mobile Device Management: How Smartphones

and Tablets are Changing Workforce IT Requirements

Only respondents who identified themselves as “very knowledgeable” on their organization mobile

requirements and as supporting an organization with greater than 20% mobile users were invited to

respond to the survey.

The IT manager survey also restricted respondents to those located in the North America; however, the

respondents organization may be headquartered or have remote offices in other countries worldwide.

Full demographic details can be found in the appendices of this report. Collectively, the two sets of

survey data deliver a comprehensive cross-section of mobile device use and requirements.

Mobile Device Adoption

The response to EMA’s end user survey on mobile device use was both rapid and substantial. This

was not much of a surprise given the broad adoption that was expected to be revealed for business

use of smartphones and tablets. In fact, the response to the research indicated roughly 70% of todays

enterprise workforce is employing a mobile device for some job-related purpose. Although there is a

broad range of utilization and importance in the business use of these devices, the staggering size of

the market underscores the challenges involved in their management.


Platform diversity is the first major concern when implementing a management solution. The more

heterogeneity there is in the support stack, the more automation is necessary to administer it. To limit

support requirements, some organizations choose to restrict supported endpoints to one or a few specific

platforms, but this is not always practicable, particularly in enterprises that allow employees to purchase

and utilize their own devices. Nonetheless, understanding which platforms have the greatest overall

adoption can significantly assist in the identification of the most applicable management solutions.

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Enterprise Mobile Device Management: How Smartphones

and Tablets are Changing Workforce IT Requirements

End Users: Which smartphone device do you primarily use

today for business purposes












4% 5%



(greater than 10,000








(Less than 500 employees)





0% 0%


(between 500 and 10,000



Apple iPhone

RIM BlackBerry

Windows Mobile



Figure 1. Smartphone platform adoption by organization size

Looking first at smartphones, there is a clear correlation between platform adoption and organizational

size (Figure 1). Large enterprises continue to be dominated by BlackBerry devices, with more than

half of end users from organizations with greater than 10,000 employees reporting their use of this

platform. The reasons for this are primarily legacy issues. Many large enterprises adopted BlackBerry

devices and the BES environment at a time when this was really the only viable platform for distributing

emails to mobile phones. Today, these devices are still heavily in use; however, as the data below

confirms, this trend appears to be changing.

Small businesses are primarily supported by Android and iPhone devices that extend their popularity

into the mid-market. Android is particularly strong in smaller organizations due to the relatively low

cost of the devices. Since the Android platform is available on a variety of different physical devices

offered by a host of different manufacturers, competition in the marketplace drives down overall prices

of Android devices and encourages the availability of some lower-cost smartphone options. Other

platforms identified by respondents included Windows Mobile devices, which displayed some modest

popularity in the small and medium business users.

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©2011 Enterprise Management Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved. |

Enterprise Mobile Device Management: How Smartphones

and Tablets are Changing Workforce IT Requirements


17% 17%







High Technology





% 9%



Professional Services






























Apple iPhone

RIM BlackBerry

Windos Mobile

Other Smartphone

Figure 2. Smartphone platform adoption by industry type

The size of an organization is only one factor in indicating a platform preference among smartphone

users. The type of industry an organization belongs to can also have a significant impact (Figure 2).

It is not surprising that financial, government, retail, and high technology companies showed broad

adoption for BlackBerry devices as these typically large organizations were most likely to deploy the

platform when it was the dominant enterprise option. Government institutions in particular have very

broadly distributed BlackBerry smartphones as their platform of choice with more than three quarters

of respondents in that field reporting using one (of course, it doesn’t hurt that even the President

of the United States has been widely publicized as owning a BlackBerry). iPhones have established

a particularly strong showing in education institutions, consistent with Apple’s overall presence in

those environments and a testament to the vendor’s education incentive programs. Consulting and

telecommunications businesses most significantly utilize Android smartphones. As both of these

industries most typically employ user-owned devices, it makes sense that this distribution is consistent

with overall consumer adoption.

Despite general opinion, end users are not necessarily independently financing the purchase of

smartphones. Employers are also shouldering the financial burden either in part or in whole. Many

organizations have implemented “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD) programs where they provide

funding for mobile devices as a hiring incentive.

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©2011 Enterprise Management Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved. |