A Guide to Mobile Device Management Software
Mobile devices are more than ever a critical component of any business. Any business you can think of will rely on the use of smartphones, tablets and laptops in the workplace, so any smart company would want to be able to manage all of these in one system. Mobile Device Management (MDM) optimises the functionality of these devices, whilst also protecting the security of the devices and corporate network. And with the increasing number of data disasters occurring, security should be a major priority for IT managers.
Mobile device management controls how corporate mobile devices are used, safeguarding the efficiency of the company and compliance with corporate policy. This involves data segregation, securing emails, securing documents on device, and integrating separate mobile devices. It often comes in the form of a mobile app on a smartphone or tablet.
What To Look For in Mobile Device Management Software
• Compatibility with the major mobile device operating systems and applications
• Ability to operate through multiple service providers
• Ability to be employed directly over the air, targeting specific devices where necessary
• Ability to use next-generation hardware, operating systems and applications quickly
• Ability to add or remove devices from the system easily to guarantee optimum efficiency and security
Benefits of Mobile Device Management Software
As well as increasing security, Mobile Device Management can:
• Prevent data loss, another major concern of IT managers.
• Control costs, as it allows the implementation of tariffs and data limitations. This is valuable if your company has multiple employees on phone contracts, or if you wish to set up tariffs in advance if employees are working abroad.
• Make it easier to work across different sites. As long as the internet is available across all of the sites, operations should be seamless if you move from one site to another.
• Auto-wipe content from any device with MDM. This is a valuable function as it prevents sensitive or classified data from being leaked. If an employee is hired by a rival business, MDM can make sure that he no longer has access to your secret data.
• Results in greater ease of management by allowing automatic processes, such as updating and configuring.
Software-as-a-Service vs On-Premise
Mobile Device Management software can either be accessed online or installed and managed on your own on-site server. An on-premise solution keeps all your data in-house on your server and can be fully integrated into your IT environment. However, SaaS doesn’t require any change to your IT; devices are managed from a single web console, which requires no installation or maintenance. SaaS offer easier updates with lower costs, whilst on-premise solutions require expensive hardware and regular software maintenance.
Bring Your Own Device
It was once true that if employees were using their own devices, they ran the risk of the company wiping content off the device, including potentially personal files. However, technology has advanced since then, and MDM now ensures that only business content is wiped. This permission to bring personally owned device to the workplace and used them to access privileged company information and applications is called Bring Your Own Device (BYOD). BYOD is perceived to be part of the trend of IT consumerisation, where personal and business usage of technology is blending together. The vast majority of workers use at least one device at work, whether or not the company permits them to. Some reports even claim that BYOD leads to gains in productivity, improves morale and makes your company attractive to potential employees. It's a trend that is becoming more and more difficult to fight, so instead companies need to consider implementing MDM to keep their BYOD workforce secure.
When considering using MDM to use in a BYOD environment, a business should make sure that the vendor it chooses offers streamlined self-service options. Self-service helps organisations to quickly bring users into the MDM for a shorter turnaround in getting the devices protected with security policies.
There are two ways of achieving this:
• Policy enforcement – pushing software changes to the device with company security options integrated into it
• Containerisation – containing all company data and user access to that data within a secured app on the device
Integration of Applications
Another major consideration is how flexible your MDM is in incorporating other applications. An MDM should allow the company to manage any mobile app that it supports. If there’s a certain application such as a BI system that the whole team needs to access, then an MDM should be able to whitelist the app and push it to the mobile device of every user who needs it. This gives more control over the device, and what version is being used, to your company.
An MDM should also be able to report on all apps that are installed, and flag up any apps that breach company policy. There should also be the option to restrict what can be installed on the devices and allow administrators to whitelist only apps that are company approved.
There are many factors that can affect the pricing of MDM, so it’s important to bear these in mind when considering the prices of particular systems. One such consideration is whether the software is cloud-based or deployed on-premise. Cloud-based MDM is an operational expenditure, meaning that it would be paid for from the budget concerning licencing and operational improvements. On-premises MDM on the other hand would be a capital expenditure, meaning that it would be treated as a fixed asset. Though one solution may be cheaper on the face of it, you might not have enough money in the appropriate budget to pay for it.
Mobile Device Management software is the most effective way to optimise your warehouse processes. However, there are so many solutions available that spending time finding the right system for you can cost your business a significant amount of time and money, and runs the risk of you implementing a solution that isn’t ideal.
Software Advisory Service can help you find the right MDM for your needs. We offer expert, non-chargeable buying advice to help find the right system for you, and can provide a shortlist of potential vendors depending on your specific requirements. Click here to submit your requirements!
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