MDM growth ‘poses problems for mobile application security’

Growth in Australia's mobile device management (MDM) market is likely to create a number of challenges for businesses, new research reveals.

Frost & Sullivan found that as bring your own device (BYOD) schemes and cloud-based deployment models become more popular, the need for adequate mobile application security will rise.

"Organisations are increasingly looking to minimise their asset management overheads, and allowing employees to bring or choose their own devices," the company stated.

"As use of employee-owned mobile devices become more widespread within organisations, IT departments are faced with three main challenges – management of devices, application of user policies and ensuring security and compliance."

Mobile application security statistics

The latest Frost & Sullivan statistics showed more than 60 per cent of Australian businesses support BYOD policies, with 16 per cent intending to introduce a scheme in the future.

Apple's market penetration has made its operating system the most popular with organisations, with over 60 per cent of BYOD users building their strategy around the platform.

The company's closed ecosystem for software and applications gives the impression of better security, Frost & Sullivan stated.

However, Google's Android platform is gaining momentum, with 32 per cent of IT departments polled expecting it to be the dominant operating system within the next 12 to 18 months.

Despite this, confidence in Apple remains strong – 41 per cent of businesses feel it will still be the most popular option well into 2015.

Mobile application security is likely to be focused on email and instant messaging services, with 70 per cent of organisations saying they are the main programs accessed by portable devices.

Unified communications software is also showing growth, as 70 per cent of enterprises reported an increase in voice and video use on mobiles in the last year.

Within this group, 22 per cent reported a 'significant' rise in employees using their devices for such purposes.

Looking ahead

Anand Balasubramanian, industry analyst for Frost & Sullivan's ANZ ICT practice, said enterprise mobility will move more towards an application-focused approach in the next few years.

"Going forward, organisations will focus more on managing the various apps and applications available to employees as opposed to controlling the devices," he said.

"This will be a major shift in the MDM market and will favour vendors and channel partners that offer solutions to efficiently manage the way apps are accessed."

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