What Is Mobile Device Management and Why Does It Matter?

Mobile Device Management (MDM) is the process of managing mobile devices, largely in terms of usage and security. Mobile devices are managed through a strategy that tracks essential information about each device, determines which applications can be installed, and remotely secures mobile devices if they are lost or stolen. MDM can also track mobile device location both by user and geographical location.

In some corporate environments, mobile devices have replaced traditional desktop computers entirely – a drastic change made possible by cloud computing. When a company runs everything from the cloud, employees can access data, applications, and the company network virtually anywhere there’s an internet connection. This ease of use is exactly why mobile device management is crucial.

What is MDM? | Mobile Device Management for Beginners| Virtua Consulting Group

Why is mobile device management important?

MDM allows employees to use company or personal devices to complete work while staying secure. These devices are essential to workplace productivity, so IT departments need to manage them, especially when issues arise, like viruses or malware. MDM can also give an IT department the ability to wipe your device completely if it is lost or stolen, then set up a new device from a company backup.

What is mobile device management?

Mobile device management is the process of securing, monitoring and supporting the use of mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, in the workplace. The function of MDM is to control data, configuration settings and applications on all mobile devices used within a company or organization.

Businesses use third-party software to implement MDM. By regulating and securing the configuration settings and data for all mobile devices in a network, MDM reduces security risks and associated costs. These solutions form a core component of a companys enterprise mobility management — the set of processes, people and technology that control mobile devices, computers and wireless networks.

How mobile device management works

MDM solutions use various combinations of corporate policies, software, infrastructure and device applications to manage all devices on a network. These solutions work even if mobile devices have different service providers or operating systems.

Mobile device management systems usually include two components:

To initialize mobile device management, an application is installed on the smartphone or other mobile device. This gives an IT department the ability to monitor and control activity. Simple mobile device management can allow an IT department to lock a device remotely, monitor internet activity or unlock a device. These services can also prevent you from downloading certain applications or visiting unauthorized websites on a work device. Your employer may prohibit you from using a work device for personal use.

Advantages of mobile device management

Some of the benefits of MDM include:

Support for BYOD policies

BYOD policies increase employee productivity and make for a flexible environment. Employees are easily able to access company emails, calendars and other resources from their own devices. Additionally, the company does not need to provide employees with a device, reducing costs. A thorough MDM policy reduces the risks associated with BYOD.

Application management

MDM services allow companies to regulate and control the applications used for work processes. Centralized control processes install specific applications for each employee. For example, businesses can provide a salesperson with applications that are different from an office assistants applications.

Remote control

IT departments can monitor the security of devices at all times with remote control. If needed, they can prohibit unauthorized access to company data instantly.

Orderly software updates

It is essential to make sure that all systems are up to date for security purposes. MDM solutions allow companies to update all devices in a coordinated manner.

Data backup

Devices with MDM software automatically back up data based on company policy. For example, an employer could request backups daily or weekly. This allows you to access your information from any device when you need it. It also helps you save your data if any of your devices are lost or stolen.

Different profiles

More complex MDM solutions can split your personal mobile device into work and personal sections, meaning you can switch in between different profiles. The MDM monitors your work programs but not your personal apps.

Increased productivity

Whether you participate in BYOD or use a company-issued device, youll likely have more access to company resources. Having a device near you can make it easier to respond to emails or complete other tasks quickly.

How does mobile device management affect you?

Your companys use of MDM can affect you in the following ways:

Signing agreements

You need to be aware of your companys MDM policies since you usually need to sign an agreement before receiving a device or participating in BYOD. Read any forms or policies carefully and ask your manager or IT department any questions you have.

Privacy issues

In some cases, if you agree to a BYOD policy, it means that the employer could have access to all of the data on that device. Read what kinds of information the employer can access and how they may monitor your activity. If its an option, create a separate work profile on your device so employers only track that profile.

You could also see if getting a company-issued device is possible to prevent any privacy concerns. Having a company device allows you to easily separate your work and personal information. If BYOD is your only option, see if your employer offers reimbursement for part of your data plan, which could be an added financial benefit.

Work-life balance

If you are issued a company device, you can turn it off when you want, which can improve your work-life balance. Read any guidelines about the applications you can download on a company device and websites you can visit, so you know which ones are better reserved for your personal device at home.

FAQ

What does mobile device management do?

5 Essential Capabilities of an MDM Solution
  • Over-the-air distribution. …
  • Support for multiple mobile operating systems. …
  • Security mechanisms. …
  • Enterprise-level application management. …
  • Network access control.

Is mobile device management necessary?

Mobile Device Management (MDM) enables IT admins to securely monitor and manage the mobile devices that access sensitive business data. It includes storing essential information about mobile devices, deciding which apps can be present on the devices, locating devices, and securing devices if lost or stolen.

Why is device management on my phone?

The single greatest benefit of mobile device management is the improved security it provides throughout the enterprise. With an MDM solution, security can be deployed to every single device within the enterprise network, and protocols can be established to direct actions in the wake of a suspected security threat.

What is the meaning of device management?

Device management generally performs the following:
  • Installing device and component-level drivers and related software.
  • Configuring a device so it performs as expected using the bundled operating system, business/workflow software and/or with other hardware devices.
  • Implementing security measures and processes.

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