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Gartner urges CIOs: Focus on managing data, not just devices

by Doug Drinkwater

February 26 2013

Gartner's Phil Redman says that MDM is an outdated term
Gartner's Phil Redman says that MDM is an outdated term

Gartner analyst Phil Redman broke down the differences between mobile device management and mobile application management at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain today.

Barcelona, Spain -- Speaking at the AirWatch Connect conference taking place at the exhibition, Redman suggested that confusion reigns for IT departments trying to manage personal and corporate-provisioned mobile devices, with Mobile Device Management (MDM) now an outdated and misleading term.

“Mobile device management isn’t really new, but it’s the use, capabilities and platforms that make it feel news.

“MDM is not what it was just a couple of years ago. I ask people about their definition [of MDM] and they say it’s about basic policy, and pushing that down onto device. But that’s just a part of it because companies like AirWatch are doing more, because the demand is higher.”

“There are two main areas CIOs are looking at – how to mobilize legacy data and how to secure and manage that data. That’s why MDM is just a bad term and I want people to really think about mobile application management.

“They should really think about how data comes from the source and moves from the network to sit on the device, and how it is then managed. But we’re kind of stuck with this term [mobile device management].”

Redman went onto suggest that tablet penetration is ramping up in enterprise, but played down proposals from other analysts that models like the iPad could come to replace PCs.

“60% of enterprises today are supporting tablets and we see that reaching 80% by 2015,” said Redman.

“There’s nothing a tablet can really do that a notebook can’t, but it’s just that tablets do it better and make it easier. But we don’t see people replacing their PC unless they have a very specific job.”

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