Mobile computing is one of those challenges that forces organizations to take a good long hard look at how they want to manage IT.
Supporting traditional desktops and notebooks running Windows is hard enough. Add on to that a mix of mobile computing devices that may not even be owned by the company and all the cost issues associated with managing IT exponentially increase.
As a result, more organizations than ever are starting to outsource at least the basic systems management functions. Some are confining that outsourcing to mobile computing devices, while others are taking the opportunity to outsource the entire systems management function.
Obviously, there is no shortage of options when it comes to outsourcing systems management. For example, CenterBeam, a provider of IT service, this week extended its services to include a mobile device management (MDM) capability. According to CenterBeam CTO Shahin Pirooz, organizations are looking for approaches to mobile computing that give them the most granular control possible at a reasonable cost. In the case of mobile, that includes everything from containing telecommunications costs to security features that allow them to remotely wipe a device in the event it gets lost or stolen.
While IT organizations could deploy that capability on their own, Pirooz says that the current “wild west” of mobile computing devices makes it exceedingly difficult for the average IT organization to keep pace with all the changes and updates.
Pirooz says the CenterBeam MDM service combines best-of-breed technologies from IBM Tivoli, Citrix and Microsoft to create a service that concentrates on managing each user and their associated devices, versus simply taking a traditional system-centric approach to managing IT that doesn’t take into account issues such as who is trying to use what class of device when on the corporate network.
Right now, there’s no getting away from mobile computing. End users have rightly identified that mobile computing is the key to the next major gain in productivity. As such, it’s not a question of if IT organizations will wind up supporting a plethora of mobile computing devices, but rather how that will be accomplished. Given how thinly stretched most IT organizations were before the rise of mobile computing, the moment of truth concerning how effectively most IT organizations can actually support mobile computing has finally arrived.