APAC organisations still taking device-centric approach to mobile security


19 August 2014
Mobile security

Organisations across the Asia Pacific are putting more emphasis on mobile security and management. However they are still leaning more towards device-only management solutions (MDM) rather than the more comprehensive mobile enterprise management (MEM) solutions that secure the device, application and data.

Pricing is clearly a factor in this, said Ian Song, Research Manager for Enterprise Mobility at International Data Corporation (IDC) Asia/Pacific, noting that the average cost per user for MDM solutions is USD$28 in Asia/Pacific on a perpetual basis, while the average cost for MEM solution is USD$36. However, the large impetus here might be a general lack of understanding on differentiation between MDM and MEM, he added.

According to IDC’s latest Asia/Pacific Enterprise Mobility Survey, 80 per cent of respondents who have mobility initiatives in their organisations have either implemented or are testing mobile security and management solutions.

Developed countries such as Singapore or Australia tend to put more focus on the security and management of the enterprise mobility platform because they tend to have more infrastructure and data they need to protect, said Song.

In comparison, emerging countries such as Indonesia and Thailand tend to focus more on developing applications to drive business on the mobile platform. “Companies in developing countries have less legacy to deal with, and more customers leveraging mobility, so they must utilise mobility to stay competitive.”

Overall, the Asia/Pacific Enterprise Mobility market is expected to become increasingly fragmented in the coming years, as countries in the region begin to utilise mobility in different fashions depending on their needs, said IDC.

"Enterprises across the region are realising it’s no longer a question of why, but a question of how when it comes to mobility adoption in their organisations," said Song. “With the growing momentum of the trend of Bring Your Own Devices (BYOD), companies can no longer ignore mobile devices in the workplace.”

According to the IDC survey, growing awareness of mobility and a more accommodating attitude by organisations has led to a relaxation of company policies toward mobile devices, both personally owned as well as professionally procured. On average, over 70 per cent of all survey respondents stated that there were some kind of mobility initiative in their organisation. However, this has not necessarily translated into a more thoughtful approach to mobility.

IDC noted that when probed further, very few organisations have a clear direction on how to leverage mobile devices effectively at workplace. The top response for engaging enterprise mobility was to increase employee goodwill, which indicated that many organisations have not thought about mobility strategically.

“Clearly, enterprises have clued in the fact that they have to adopt enterprise mobility,” said Song. “But very few organisations understand the value proposition of mobility for their businesses, which is about enhancing and driving business growth, not just to make employees happy.”