Admittedly EMaaS may not be a good fit for all organizations. These include those that need to have complete control of all assets (devices and data), such as companies in highly regulated industries like the financial sector and health care, government agencies and organizations in the field of public safety. But even among these exceptions, I see opportunities for some level of EMaaS being provided for any users who are less subject to regulation or susceptible to data loss. And I expect that EMaaS, over time, will achieve a level of security close to that of internal infrastructure.
The EMaaS market is currently fairly small, with just a few companies offering relatively limited services. But I expect to see continued expansion of EMaaS by many of the large infrastructure and application vendors (such as SAP, IBM, HP and Oracle), with a focus on hosted and shared apps; by carriers such as AT&T, Verizon and Sprint, with a focus on managed services; and eventually by the traditional outsourcing vendors, such as Accenture, HP, Dell and IBM. I also expect the security-oriented vendors, such as McAfee and Symantec, and the mainstream mobile device management vendors, such as MobileIron, SAP/Sybase, Zenprise and AirWatch, to rapidly move to cloud-based, hosted models.
Many of the smaller, specialized vendors will need to partner with larger players to achieve true EMaaS capabilities, and larger players will need to add complementary technology to supplement their own. So I expect a significant number of mergers and acquisitions to take place over the next couple of years.
Bottom line: Enterprises will soon have a real choice between implementing internal, behind-the-firewall services for their mobile users and using alternative services offered by true EMaaS vendors. In some cases, a hybrid, internal/external approach will be the best fit. Ultimately, EMaaS will emerge as a strategic advantage for many enterprises.
Jack Gold is the founder and principal analyst at J.Gold Associates, an information technology analyst firm based in Northborough, Mass.
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