It’s no secret that technology has revolutionized the way that we do business. From buying groceries to building a house, there are more options than ever before to find the perfect product or service you want while staying on top of interesting news at the same time. With that said, it should also be noted that this unprecedented ability to stay connected with the outside world even while working has presented an unforeseen number of challenges in the workplace. Even beyond keeping employees engaged with their work, the ability to pull a phone out and have complete access to the internet is a security issue on many different levels. That’s where mobile device management (MDM) comes in.
What is mobile device management?
The easy access of mobile devices can be a hazard to employees and employers alike, and that’s true in all manner of industries. Individuals running an office might find that mobile devices distract their employees from their administrative tasks, for example, which can lead to lesser-quality work as well as lowered productivity. On the other end of the spectrum, individuals running businesses that are more security-oriented might be concerned about the amount of access that employees have to unsecured websites and networks.
The solution to these common workplace problems is mobile device management (MDM). MDM is used to enforce a set of policies and best practices on tablets, smartphones, and other mobile devices. This is generally done via a special kind of software that allows IT administrators the ability to control certain parts of the devices in question. As a result, these administrators are able to secure, enforce, and control policies designed to keep employees engaged and security risks as low as possible.
How does mobile device management work?
MDM software is a rapidly-evolving industry, with new solutions released to address unforeseen issues and new trends as they become apparent. The most comprehensive MDM solution will offer three main phases of securing enterprise mobility:
- Determination of Needs
- Provisioning of Mobile Devices
- Controlling Mobile Devices
Determination of Needs
The first thing you need to do when implementing MDM solutions is to determine exactly what you’re hoping to accomplish. Do you need to build a more structured environment for employees using mobile devices, or are you simple trying to limit access to corporate resources on mobile devices? The reason you’re interested in MDM will dictate the solution that works best for your needs, which is why it’s important that you understand your goals before you sit down and look at software options.
Note that this includes determining what kind of mobile devices will and won’t be permitted on campus. If employees are allowed to bring their own devices to work, then you’ll need a solution that can easily be installed on a wide array of systems without impeding the normal functionality of the user’s device. This can be a bit more difficult to do than simply issuing devices that are designated for use at work, however it is more cost-effective to allow your employees to use their own technology. Once you’ve weighed the pros and cons of each option and have decided what approach you’ll be taking, you can move on to the next phase.
Provisioning of Mobile Devices
In order to fully enforce your MDM policies, you must understand which devices your employees are using and why. This allows you to set up a specific process that allows them to install your MDM software on their devices and begin work. Alternatively, you can use this time to order the devices you’ll be issuing to employees and setting them up with your software solution already in place before you hand them out. This is perhaps the easiest option when it comes to ensuring uniform control of all work devices, but it’s not the most labor or budget-friendly option on the market.
Controlling Mobile Devices
Once you have all of the devices that will be accessing your business network set up with the MDM software of your choice, it’s time to actually enforce the policies you’ve set in place. That means carefully monitoring how employees are using the devices in question and what kinds of work arounds they might find (whether it be inadvertently or on purpose). Keep your software updated with the latest MDM solutions available, and make sure that the mobile devices are also up-to-date and are receiving the updates you’re issuing.
Call Unity IT for Mobile Management Assistance!
Mobile security can be incredibly difficult to control in today’s technological era, but that doesn’t mean that it’s impossible. An experienced team of IT professionals who understand the challenges you’re facing and how best to solve them can help make the situation considerably easier to handle.