Are MSPs ready for the mobile management market explosion?
When it comes to mobile device and bring your own device (BYOD) management results from the 2014 MSP Pricing Survey suggest mixed opinions among Kaseya’s MSP customer base. On the one hand, almost half (48%) of the survey respondents have yet to offer Mobile Device Management (MDM) services. On the other hand, those that are offering MDM or BYOD services for a fee are obtaining between $2 and $15+ per device per month. For those who have found a market for these services the revenue opportunities are considerable. Over 25% offering MDM services and over 30% offering BYOD-related services are able to charge over $5 per device per month. 5% of the MDM service providers and 10% of the BYOD providers are charging more than $15 per device per month.
In 2014 the number of mobile devices grew to exceed the total population of the planet! This includes approximately 2 billion smartphones. Of course, the mere existence of mobile devices does not necessarily translate into a need for mobile device management – particularly among the small and medium businesses (SMBs), who are the primary recipients of MSPs’ managed service offerings. Yet when we asked SMBs about their use of managed services for mobile device and BYOD management about 26% indicated that they were already using such services and a further 31% indicated that they were planning to do so – see chart below.
Source: Kaseya 2105 IT Ops Best Practice Survey
With new tools becoming available for managing these devices, such as Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) from Kaseya, we expect the number of mobile devices managed to grow considerably in 2015. Indeed, 40% of the pricing survey respondents who do not yet offer MDM or BYOD management services are planning to in 2015 and we anticipate that many more will move from offering basic device configuration and set up to more comprehensive management services.
Why are some customers willing to pay as much as $15 per device for management services?
The value of mobile device management to an SMB depends on a number of factors and is likely to be heavily influenced by both the nature of the business (e.g. the vertical) and by the importance and nature of the mobile application in use. For example:
- Security and compliance is a major issue for companies in the healthcare and banking fields. It is vital that they know who is able to access information and to be able to not only control what information is accessed but to be able to erase any sensitive information from a device should it get misplaced or be stolen.
- Companies in the insurance field with a large number of independent agents or educational institutions with a large number of students may wish to offer access to centralized applications via the agents/students own devices. They utilize mobile devices as part of their operational flows. Providing only company owned devices would not be practical in either of these cases. However, providing support for the wide range of possible devices that may need access, should they allow it, is also a challenge. With the right mobility management solution, MSPs offer cost effective support for the wide range of devices and device manufacturers that they are likely to encounter.
- The high-tech and bio-tech industries are renowned for employing new college graduates and other members of the “millennial” generation. To attract and retain these younger, more tech-savvy employees requires accommodating their communication styles and their technology preferences while at the same time ensuring the absolute protection of intellectual property, while ensuring that employees’ personal information is remains untouched.
- Companies in the energy and transportation fields rely heavily on mobile workers. They need access to key applications, rely heavily on mobile devices to increase productivity and customer responsiveness, and often collect data that is both sensitive and valuable. Controlling information access depending on an employee’s role is important as is securing the information collected in the case of loss or damage.
Different customers will see different value in mobile device and BYOD management depending on their situations. Very small SMBs are likely to have little interest in mobile device management but companies with more than 100 employees will often have at least some (e.g. sales) staff members who wish to access company data and applications via their mobile devices. MSPs who offer mobile device configuration and management services will be able to both differentiate their service offerings and grow their businesses and profitability.