Mobile device management refers to a range of procedures and techniques which enable a company (using pre-existing infrastructures) to regulate and integrate the staff’s use of mobile devices, with the aim of facilitating their work.
To say that the purpose of MDM is merely to supply members of staff with smartphones or tablets would be an over-simplification and indeed wrong. In fact, this activity governs every aspect of mobile device implementation, such as hard- and software functionalities, security and the ongoing monitoring of device use.
Managing and integrating mobile devices, while controlling the services they can access, is not an easy task and requires considerable investment (in terms of staff hours as well as money) which should not be underestimated. Nevertheless, an ad hoc designed MDM can bring many advantages regarding production quality and speed, making it a very attractive option.
How to build a Mobile Device Management strategy
A company intending to embrace these new technologies will find itself facing a real challenge. It will therefore, have to carefully plan a valid strategy in order to guarantee that its investment will be a success.
Costs are one of the major issues to be taken into consideration during the planning phase, as well as measures to guarantee security and prevent the leaking of sensitive information. Furthermore, the devices, software and services to be made available to staff must be chosen with great care.
It soon becomes apparent that creating an efficient Mobile Device Management strategy is neither a quick nor easy job. This task falls to the company’s IT department and can require significant resources, as well as skill.
A good starting point when building a quality MDM strategy is to begin by asking certain key questions, such as:
- What skills do the staff have?
- How much freedom of movement do they need to gain from using the devices that the company intends to supply them with?
- What devices do they use or which ones is the company intending to supply?
- Which operating systems are used?
- Is the use of mobile apps required?
- What is the current security level and what are the company’s objectives in this area?
- How much will all this cost?
The answers to the above questions will provide an excellent foundation for building a winning strategy which is tailor-made to meet the company’s needs.
Interesting solutions for high level Mobile Device Management
Some useful tips for developing an effective Mobile Device Management strategy can be gained by observing large companies which already use this approach. The key areas of MDM on which most investment should be focused are security, management of remote devices and application accessibility.
Among the most frequently used methods of ensuring a good level of cyber security are: the adoption of password authentication for devices, data encryption and remote wipe/lock (a system which allows to block or format company devices remotely in case of theft or loss).
The optimisation and standardisation of settings on company devices is another fundamental element which large companies prioritise. This choice allows the enhanced control of devices, thereby facilitating technical assistance should problems arise.
It is also essential to have good application management, because this allows constant updates to be provided (also remotely) to all company devices. Whitelists and blacklists (depending on the staff member using the device and their authorisations) can also be maintained and silent installations (that is the installation of programs and functionalities not explicitly requested by the end user) can be carried out.
Translated by Joanne Beckwith