Recently I met with the brass of a leading MDM company. He spoke about the "good times" when they got purchase orders sight-unseen amidst a few hard-won deals after many miles on airplanes. It was all worth it, cause the company got acquired for a princely sum, he added. Now toiling in the larger company was not so pleasant. MDM is easy to buy but hard to deploy. As a result renewals are scant. To make matters worse, Microsoft now offers MDM free with its Office365 suite. Of course Google has been doing that for many years now. But free MDM is no easier to deploy and manage.
There are about 2 billion mobile devices on the planet, but only a total of 25 million MDM licenses sold. And of those 25M maybe a few million deployed. The reason is simple. MDM is easy to buy but very hard to deploy. Managing software agents on fragmented mobile devices is very expensive and very painful. The chart below shows the increasing fragmentation of Android. No enterprise wants to maintain software that must work reliably on thousands of operating system variants.
And no user in his or her right mind wants the enterprise invading her privacy by managing her BYO device. When you install MDM on your Android device you are essentially granting your company root access to your device. The agent can see all your usernames and passwords, whether for work or personal use. Do you have a banking app on your phone? The agent has full access to your call and text history. Can track your every move on GPS. And more.
So what about that free Intune MDM from Microsoft? "Free" software from Microsoft in walled gardens made sense when every device in the Enterprise was Windows and owned and managed by the Enterprise. That is simply not true any more. End-user devices are highly fragmented and heterogenous. Enterprises require agentless solutions for protecting their data without managing the device. Free or paid, peak MDM has come and gone.
Enter the CASB. A complete CASB solution must secure data in the cloud, at access and on mobile devices WITHOUT agents. As of this writing, only Bitglass offers a complete CASB solution.