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Implementing effective mobile device management strategies

Implementing effective mobile device management strategies

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Mobile devices and applications have become an integral part of the business world, changing the way companies operate and interact with their customers. Developing a mobile device management (MDM) strategy is essential for businesses to effectively leverage the opportunities offered by these devices while managing the risks they pose. Jere Jutila, Director of Business Development, Miradore, will explore how MDM can build the foundation for secure enterprise mobility, its use cases and benefits and how to choose the right software for your company.

Mobile devices are more central to our everyday lives than ever before, particularly in modern workspaces, as they often determine how teams operate and interact with one another as well as their customers and partners.

Smartphones, laptops and tablets are often pivotal for maximising productivity and achieving goals while also becoming the root of data security risks and problems for IT departments aiming to protect their organisations from digital threats.

Establishing an effective mobile device management (MDM) strategy is the ideal solution to mitigate digital risks and enhance mobility.

Developing a robust framework to manage and secure company mobile devices ensures they will be protected wherever they are as part of a broader enterprise mobility management (EMM) system.

Assess existing MDM solutions

To better understand your current position, complete a thorough assessment of your organisation’s current devices and the existing management strategy.

Typically, this includes reviewing whether devices are company-issued or employee-owned, as well as existing app usage and operating systems.

A review offers a full-picture performance evaluation and highlights gaps in visibility or security, and a software check determines if compliance standards are being adhered to.
Organisations are also aware of the cost of devices and will want to maximise the value of their investment.

A 360-degree review simultaneously determines an organisation’s shortcomings and needs and also identifies opportunities to reduce costs and increase efficiency.

Set MDM strategy goals

An assessment will now leave you in the best position to determine the objectives the MDM strategy needs to succeed. This knowledge is essential to understand the software features you will need.

Most solutions will provide device inventory, device and data security, app management and configurations, device policy enforcement and remote software updates and some provide additional features like identity, access and expense management.

Common improvement areas are employee productivity, increased customer engagement and robust cybersecurity. Depending on the current MDM strategies, these may be split into long and short-term goals.

Short-term goals, like the general implementation of an MDM solution, increase visibility for immediate protection, while long-term goals may have a more physical impact, such as improved user experience or increased productivity.

Key MDM software features

MDM software is selected based on multiple factors, including how it will be used, the requirements of the software and the company’s size and budget.

It is important to create a checklist of the key features that align with your policies, budget and objectives, such as device inventory, restrictions and configurations, application and content management, device and data security, policy enforcement, automation and remote maintenance.

An effective MDM strategy will typically aim to improve specific business areas, including better security measures, increased productivity, reduced costs, adherence to compliance policies and a better user experience.

For example, a company that wishes to reduce costs may target remote maintenance and automation features to reduce the need for additional personnel to oversee and maintain these systems and optimise processes off-site.

Alternatively, businesses that want to maximise device protection and security may instead prioritise targeted restriction, configuration and data security features.

How to select the right MDM software

Choosing the right software depends on several factors, including the number of devices it will support, the way the devices are used and the base requirements for the software.
Dedicate time to comparing different platforms and how each one performs against your list of requirements.

First, consider how it can support the operating system, as some solutions can only support specific systems while others enable multiple system management.

Multi-platform support helps businesses to manage all devices with one software solution, which provides more freedom for employees to choose their work devices.

A review of a software’s key features should also be a priority. Basic device inventory to track devices, restriction and configuration abilities and passcode and drive encryption are essential. Features like automatic device enrolment and remote software updates will become necessary as the number of devices on the system increases.

Next, you should review if you will need an on-site or cloud-based solution, as most MDM solutions are cloud-based that won’t require additional hardware and provide scalability, meaning you can enrol more devices as your business expands and only requires a simple plan upgrade to accommodate them.

However, if you prefer to run systems in your own data centre (common in highly regulated industries) there are on-premises and hybrid solutions that need in-house management.
Consider usability – you can avoid plenty of unnecessary features that are often confusing and can negatively impact its usability.

Ultimately, all software considerations will come down to your budget. Most vendors offer flexible plans that can be scaled up or down according to your budget and needs. If you require more specific features, you may need to consider larger options which are often more expensive.

Implement and maintain an efficient MDM strategy

After completing an MDM review, vendor selection and target setting, it is essential to implement and maintain it efficiently.

Track progress by monitoring the completion of set long- and short-term goals. Address any performance gaps should be addressed by adding additional features or solutions from other vendors that can close them.

Educate employees about the new strategy and software, informing them of its benefits and the set objectives it aims to address.

To ensure this is well-communicated, staff may require some additional training, one-to-one or smaller group sessions, which some vendors may be able to provide.

Finally, continuously monitor all systems and devices to avoid straying from compliance regulations and consistently evaluate the effectiveness of the chosen MDM strategy to identify areas of improvement and possible blind spots.

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