Enterprise Mobility Management Forecasts Show Strong Growth in Mobile Application Management

K. Weldon
K. Weldon

Summary Bullets:

  • According to a new forecast from GlobalData, the market for enterprise mobility management (EMM) software reached $13.3 billion in 2019, a year in which mobile application management caught up to mobile device management in terms of revenues.
  • Does this growth imply higher revenue potential for mobile operators in selling managed mobility services?

According to a new forecast from GlobalData, the market for EMM software reached $13.3 billion in 2019, a year in which mobile application management caught up to mobile device management in terms of revenues. In fact, the five-year CAGR for mobile application management, at 27%, is significantly higher than for the other three software capabilities in the forecast, with mobile device management at 18.8%, telecom expense management at 10.3%, and mobile content management at 13.6%. (For the full report, click here.)These forecasts pertain specifically to revenues associated with software platforms from vendors such as VMware, MobileIron, BlackBerry, Microsoft, and IBM and also include TEM vendors such as Tangoe. But, while the forecasts focus on software, there is a strong relationship between these numbers and revenues for services from operators, managed mobility specialists, and SIs that may resell the software along with additional professional services, managed services, or support options. For example, many operators offer device lifecycle management services that deal with mobile device procurement, provisioning, kitting, staging, repair, and end-of-life management. The 2019 GlobalData Customer Insight survey, based on 3,300 respondents, noted that 58% of companies are already using EMM solutions and 54% are using TEM software. This suggests that there remains considerable upsell opportunity for both software vendors and operators in helping customers manage their mobile devices, especially as mobility is used for so many different functions within an organization and is increasingly mission-critical. Of course, high penetration of EMM solutions also may mean that the revenue opportunities for both operators and vendors in selling more licenses may be limited, as many companies already have them installed and deployed.

What does the growth in application management mean for mobile operators?

Operators are not necessarily involved in building a lot of custom mobile applications; while they may do so for large customers, they often resell third-party software products in areas such as workforce management and may offer their own additional enterprise mobility services such as mobile UC, push-to-talk, prioritization and pre-emption for public safety and other mission-critical communications, and in-building WiFi or private cellular networks. They also help customers with mobile security, going beyond MDM/UEM to endpoint security and threat management services. The rise of mobile application management as a commonly used and rapidly growing part of EMM software platforms indicates that even when they do not develop them, operators can help manage and secure applications, as well as helping companies customize horizontal software to meet the needs of a particular vertical industry or a particular company/brand. Operators also partner with SIs such as Accenture and IBM to provide more extensive mobile application customization.

Where does IoT fit in?

GlobalData has predicted for several years that there will be some convergence of software and security solutions used for management of traditional mobile devices and those offered for management of IoT devices. This has been slow to occur, as the different vendor ecosystems involved in each segment remain separate. For example, connectivity and device management vendors for IoT are not generally the same vendors as those for MDM/UEM, although the latter set has been talking about adding IoT device management for a long time. We do see evidence that this kind of convergence is slowly happening, as it would be more cost-effective for enterprises to manage both kinds of mobile devices from the same platform. Admittedly, IoT devices are more diverse and many still lack operating systems or other ways to instruct and manage them. The concept of a ‘single pane of glass’ remains a desirable one for enterprises, however, and operators have been adding visibility and device tracking options for both smartphones/tablets and IoT devices to their portals. In addition, the majority of EMM vendors have now evolved to unified endpoint management, meaning that their software manages laptops as well as smartphones and tablets. This is already an indication that a single pane of glass is viewed as cost-effective and less complex for IT managers.

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