Corporate technology is a marketplace that has always suited Value Added Resellers (VAR) like a glove. By packaging up several different technologies, the VAR is able to capture market share through clever integrations, and a rapid deployment.
But this situation may soon change significantly, and this change is going to be driven by the ongoing trend of adopting mobile architecture to deliver business solutions.
Tech Without Boundaries
Many VAR package up several technologies to create a new, attractive product. This is perfectly fine; this is where the value-add part comes in. These resellers have already done the technical legwork to integrate these technologies. Meaning customers gain access to a pain-free deployment of tested technology. Mobile is changing this, though. As the delivery platform has become both wider and also more difficult to manage.
No Longer Tied to the Desk
In the past, the VAR would develop integrated products to work on specific hardware. Most usually PC. However, the PC is no longer the sole workhorse of corporate users. We now have smartphones and tablets being used on the go. And of course, these devices are often all completely different. Running a variety of operating systems, and versions of the same operating system. They are also usually quite open, allowing users to install their own apps.
Defining the Challenges of Mobile Device Management
The first and foremost issue is that of mobile security. The device itself will be used out of the office. It can be easily lost and stolen. This is just the physical aspect of MDM security. We also need to consider that across the entire mobile device pool in use by a company, there is likely little standardization on OS and version. There is also likely no solid security protocol in place with regard to device usage best practices, antivirus, and malware. Add to this the whole headache that authentication (or lack of) adds to the mix, and we can see that VAR who wish to roll out mobile versions of their application suite, need to tackle the pithy problem of device security as a priority.
And of course, these devices are not physically attached to any corporate network when in mobile mode. They are most usually using public facing Wi-Fi connections or mobile internet to access corporate IT resources. This adds to the security issues, but it also makes it very difficult to manage these devices.
For example, let’s hypothetically say that we need to roll out a critical application update. How do we make sure that every device receives it? Some may be switched off, or not connected to a network. In his case, we need to use a comprehensive MDM platform to administer the entire device pool. This means adding another layer to the VAR product offering, or exploiting current technology used by the client company.
A Bad Situation Getting Worse
These are just the major considerations for VAR who wish to exploit mobile technology as part of their service offering. The complexity of managing a large pool of mobile devices is likely something most VAR are not prepared for.
The problem is growing, as mobile tech is adopted at a phenomenal rate, often with little regard for security and application performance. Unfortunately for the VAR, they are often the first port of call when something goes wrong, even though the problem may not have been caused by their own products.