Current mobile device management (MDM) practices are slated for a major revamp and will likely be overtaken by a new approach focused on on-demand mobile virtualization, according to analyst firm Forrester Research.

MDM is viewed as a “heavy-handed approach” by a growing number of information technology professionals who have no desire of managing employee-owned devices, according to Chenxi Wang, analyst for Forrester. She said this view has resulted in the adoption of technologies such as device virtualization, app wrapping and mobile virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI).
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On-demand mobile virtualization, an approach that uses technology which enables multiple operating systems or virtual machines to run simultaneously on a mobile phone or connected wireless devices, will increasingly replace MDM as a means of separating corporate data from the “personal environment in mobile devices, according to Forrester’s 2013 Mobile Security Predictions report.

Mobile virtualization, which relies on policy-based control over corporate applications as well as content and data, began appearing in the marketplace last year and will become mainstream in 2013, Forrester said. While MDM will not entirely disappear, it will likely expand to include mobile virtualization, the research firm reported.


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Improvements in mobile virtualization have the potential of re-allocating budget away from device management, said Wang.

MDM will remain relevant in the small and medium sized business space, but MDM vendors need to eventually adopt their platforms to mobile virtualization in order to retain their hold on the market, Forrester said.

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