For some time now, mobile device management stood on its own as a separate IT systems management category. But as the number of mobile computing devices that need to be managed continue to proliferate across the enterprise, the companies that make systems management software for PCs and servers are now extending those capabilities to mobile devices.
Case in point is ManageEngine, which this week extended its desktop management software, Desktop Central, to support mobile operating systems starting with Apple iOS devices. According to ManageEngine President Raj Sabhlok, the company plans to shortly add support for other devices, and just to make sure IT organizations know the company is serious about mobile, it has started to make its software accessible to IT managers on Apple iPad and iPhone devices.
The question this move raises is whether mobile device management is about to become a feature in a suite of systems management products or a stand-alone category. From an IT perspective, mobile devices are just another class of systems that need to be managed. In most cases, hiring a separate staff and arming them with separate IT management software that they need to master isn't all that desirable. As mobile computing devices continue to proliferate, they need to be managed alongside the rest of the systems that make up the IT ecosystem.
Obviously, most systems managers don't have as much experience with mobile computing devices as they do with Windows PCs. But that experience issue only reflects a moment in time. As more of these devices become standard-issue equipment, the IT people providing help desk services should be able to support them.
While the IT environment is obviously becoming more diverse, most IT organizations are going to want to extend what they already have in place to support mobile computing devices. In the event that the support they need for mobile computing is not forthcoming in a timely manner, they may consider other options. But that is just as likely to be a new IT systems management framework for the entire enterprise as it is a separate set of management tools to manage mobile computing devices.