The intent of MDM is to optimize the functionality and security of a mobile communications network while minimizing cost and downtime. This applies to both company owned and employee-owned devices across the enterprise or mobile devices owned by consumers.
Below is "The Magic Quadrant for Mobile Device Management Software" by Gartner:
On July 29, 2011 Gartner published a research study of 13 vendors' mobile device management software.
Zenprise, Mobile Active Defense and MobileIron scored highest overall in various use cases.
- Not all MDM platforms provide device encryption if it is not supported natively on the device.
- Although containerized approaches offer some of the highest security, restrictions to the user's experience with mobile email may limit the user's acceptability and viability on personal devices.
- AirWatch, Fiberlink, MobileIron, Sybase and Zenprise use native Apple iOS 4 management APIs to implement functions such as over-the-air (OTA) software upgrades and certificate-based authentication.
- Good for Enterprise is a mobility suite centered on wireless email; many management and security capabilities are available within their email client only.
- Choose vendors that support a lightweight management approach, with mobile agents and server-side platforms, when your security and management requirements are limited and deep control is not accepted by employees using personal devices. Examples include Zenprise, MobileIron, BoxTone, Fiberlink and AirWatch.
- Choose vendors that support a heavyweight approach to deliver secure and manageable corporate email to consumer and personal devices when strict security and compliance requirements apply. Containers can enforce stronger separation among personal and corporate content. Examples include Good Technology, Excitor and Sybase.
- Users of iOS need to reset their devices for encryption -- the data protection mechanism in iOS 4 implements total device encryption, and can be triggered by setting a password to connect to Exchange Active Sync for email, calendar and contacts -- and then resynch the data.
The report summarizes:
"Before making any effort to select the most appropriate tool for MDM, organizations need to understand their requirements and define clear policies for deployment, including corporate data and application protection on the device and back-end servers; isolation from personal content, if needed; and cost containment. Organization should evaluate different MDM offerings, focusing on the critical capabilities identified in this research."
"While most mature products (such as those from Good Technology, Sybase and MobileIron) are on-premises, a growing range of cloud services offerings (such as those from AirWatch, Fiberlink and Tangoe) are starting to appeal to users because they are more economical."