Enterprise mobility-management is a business-to-business service that got off the ground when employees started using smartphones. Now with the wide proliferation of touch-screen tablets across enterprises worldwide, mobility-management services are taking off. In fact, the market for these services is expected to grow from roughly $1 billion in 2010 to $11 billion by 2016, according to Allied Business Intelligence Inc. (ABI Research, New York City).
Mobility management services today are mostly used by medium and large enterprises, but by 2016 they will also be serving small businesses and even "SoHo" businesses with fewer than five employees.
Enterprise mobility-management services began as almost a niche market, when a few large enterprises standardized on the iPhone as their mobile-worker platform, using specially written apps to perform common functions like access corporate databases and file expense reports. As smartphone usage grew, and Android smartphones took off, the mobility management service sector started a period of rapid growth. Now with the introduction of both iOS- and Android-based tablets, and an avalanche of smart apps for performing nearly every corporate-computer function remotely, mainstream players are entering the fast-growing enterprise mobility-management market.
AT&T, Motorola Mobility, and Samsung Mobile are the latest entrants to this fast-growing market, offering services that include management of mobile apps, mobile devices, content delivery, network services, expense reports, policy references, and security. What began as an answer to employee requests to IT for technology to connect to the corporate servers, has now grown into an enterprise-wide outsourced service that can remotely configure devices, provision them with apps and data, monitor and control their access to corporate networks, ensure security, and control the cost of managing multiple mobile operating systems.
According to ABI Research, in its recently released report Enterprise Mobility Management Services for Smartphones and Media Tablets, the usage of mobile devices by enterprise employees is rising dramatically. By 2016, up to 85 percent of enterprise employees worldwide will be toting smartphones or tablets, according to ABI Research, with penetration as high as 95 percent at many large corporations.
Entry into the market by carriers like AT&T and companies like Motorola Mobile and Samsung reflects the desire by many enterprises for one-stop-shopping where both the devices and all the necessary services can be obtained from a single supplier, according to ABI Research. Businesses are also seeking to consolidate around just one or two suppliers for wireless mobility services combined with management of their other endpoints such as PCs, notebooks, and Internet appliances.