IT administrators in businesses around the world turn to mobile device management (MDM) to guide the usage of tablets, smartphones, and other mobile devices. Mobile device management solutions are often necessary to:
- Control the Use of Mobile Devices
- Keep Mobile Devices Secure
- Enforce Company Policies on the Usage of Mobile Devices
It is clear that picking the right endpoint management solution for your business is very important. Let’s go over all of your options for mobile device management solutions since more and more often employees choose their own devices. You can focus on:
- iOS or Apple Mobile Device Management
- Android Mobile Device Management
- Windows Mobile Device Management
Whatever operating system is used in the mobile devices throughout your company, there’s a mobile device management solution for you that will work with the strategic planning of your company. Moreover, mobile device management solutions can help you manage a mixed- OS environment, making it easy to monitor whatever device employees use.
Mobile Device Management (MDM) vs. Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM)
Mobile device management is sometimes used interchangeably with the term enterprise mobility management (EMM). However, while both of these processes focus on keeping your mobile technology safe and secure, they do function in slightly different ways.
In the purest definition, enterprise mobility management tends to focus more on protecting and securing a company’s information, rather than the devices used to transmit the information. MDM solutions are geared more towards protecting technological devices in order to make sure information stays secure.
Generally, all mobile device management solutions for your business are considered a subset of enterprise mobility management solutions, but not all EMM solutions are MDM solutions.
What to Look for When Selecting an MDM Solution
Now that you’re clear on the definition of mobile device management, we can focus on the main points you need to look for when selecting an MDM solution for your business.
For starters, you need to consider the following features of the MDM solution offered:
- Operating Systems Covered
- Remote Capabilities Offered
- Security Systems Provided
Let’s take a closer look at each one of these features.
Operating Systems Covered by the MDM
Not all MDM solutions cover all major operating systems. Some specialize in only one operating system.
Depending upon the needs of your employees, you may need mobile device management solutions for:
- Android Systems
- iOS Systems
- Citrix Systems
- BlackBerry Systems
Additionally, some MDM systems will partially work with certain operating system, while cutting some features out. Make sure you thoroughly review the supported systems before selecting a mobile device management system.
If, for example, most of your employees use Android devices and you select an Apple mobile device management system, you could end up facing serious challenges.
Remote Capabilities Offered by the MDM
Many MDM solutions focus on offering remote services. After all, MDM is often used to secure devices used by employees who are working at home or from other locations. The services need to work from wherever they are, to keep your company’s data secure.
You may need a mobile device management solution that includes options for:
- Remote Device Locking
- Remove Device Wipes
- Remote Device Tracking
The ability to track a device can help you locate smartphones and tablets that are lost or misplaced by employees. Remotely locking or wiping a device can protect your company if you have reason to believe that an employee’s mobile device has fallen into the wrong hands.
Security Services Provided by the MDM
Mobile device management solutions should be dedicated to protecting your business at the endpoint of mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. This means that you need MDM solutions with strong security options.
MDM solutions could include single sign-on services that allow employees to sign-on once to access all applications used in your company. Keeping sign-ons simple can help prevent employees from getting password fatigue, which can end up weakening security.
Apps and iOS or Apple Mobile Device Management
Mobile device management can end up playing a large role in helping your company handle apps on employee mobile devices. Your company can use MDM solutions to:
- Set Up an Enterprise App Store
- Distribute Apps
- Whitelist or Blacklist Apps
Third party apps can pose serious security risks for a distributed workforce. Many of these apps are not completely secure. They can contain backdoors and other security risks that can compromise mobile devices used by your employees.
Any risk of compromising a device must be taken very seriously, especially if your business uses a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policy, which has proven to result in a happier workforce. Blacklisting apps that your employees cannot use can limit security risks to your company and setting up a whitelist can help employees feel confident about which apps are safe for them to use.
Keep Track of All Mobile Devices with MDM Solutions
Mobile device management is generally very hands on and well-controlled by your company’s IT department. Companies that adopt MDM solutions can keep a running inventory of mobile devices used by employees and track these devices.
The IT department can take care off all app and firmware updates across mobile devices when you use MDM software. This kind of hands-on solution can also make it easy for you to ensure your employees comply with best practices for mobile device usage.
Setting Up a Mobile Device Management Solution
Generally, MDM solutions are a two-part package. Your company will need to set up an MDM server. This server can be physically located in your business or stored in the cloud for ease of use. MDM solutions also require an MDM agent.
MDM agents are found on mobile devices that serve as endpoints for your company. This can include tablets, smartphones, and other devices. The MDM server will transmit information to all devices with MDM agents, including apps.
Pick the Mobile Device Management Solution That’s Right for You
Mobile device management can be just what you need to protect your company if you utilize a BYOD policy. Your IT department can exert a great deal of control over mobile devices with MDM policies. As you determine which MDM solution is right for you, make sure you focus on:
- The Operating Systems Covered by the MDM
- The Security Services Offered by the MDM
- The Remote Capabilities of Your MDM Solution
You can also look into other techniques for protecting your company’s data. Enterprise mobility management offers you additional options for keeping your company well-protected in the face of increasing cyber security risks in today’s business world.