As mobile devices become a primary computing platform for many enterprise employees, repairing or replacing smartphones and tablets at the local Apple or Microsoft store isn’t a viable option for large enterprises.
While managed mobility services (MMS) have been around as long as mobile devices, until recently such services tailored to repairing and replacing mobile devices were immature. The consumerization of IT and the growth of bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies as well as corporate-issued smartphones and tablets had left them unable to scale at an enterprise level.
At the same time, the myriad of mobile devices and mobile operating systems has made it difficult for IT shops to address issues associated with them. For example, Android fragmentation — both hardware and software — has led organizations to farm out device management in order to free up corporate IT resources for business projects.
Having internal IT shops support smartphones and tablets doesn’t make sense for most enterprises — very large or very small, said Eric Goodness, a vice president of research in Gartner’s Technology and Service Providers unit. Forward and reverse logistics — or the purchasing of new devices and the reuse of existing ones — are critical to enterprises, but it’s simply too expensive to address these functions internally for a mobile workforce, Goodness said.
“It is so much easier and less expensive to push the sourcing-to-disposition life cycle to a third party,” he said, citing “Genius Bar”-style services on enterprise campuses as a growth area for MMS providers.
Jonathan Nikols, global head of HPE’s Systems Managed Services, said he has seen an explosion of mobile devices among enterprise customers. “There are estimates that by 2020, there will be four devices for every employee,” Nikols said.
“The question becomes how do you secure them all? They’re multi-vendor in nature,” he continued. “Apple and Android rule the smartphone market, but then there…