The world is more mobile than ever, and business is no exception. Global enterprises have teams working at home, in the office, in different countries and across time zones. To manage and secure smartphones, tablets, and other wireless devices as well as their installed applications, businesses need enterprise mobile device management (MDM) solutions. But what is enterprise MDM and how can your organization create a sound plan for implementation? This article tackles exactly that.
Why Managing Mobile Devices is Critical
Gartner research found that over 50% of employees use personal devices or personally acquired applications and web services for work, and the pandemic only accelerated bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trends. While mobile devices make it easy for employees to work from anywhere, they also pose security risks. As a result, enterprise Mobile Device Management solutions have become increasingly in demand.
Did you know that:
- 75% of companies experienced a “major” mobile-related security compromise?
- 34% of an IT department’s time is spent on managing mobile devices?
This is why MDM solutions are essential in helping IT tighten security while lightening the workload. But what is MDM and how does it relieve those burdens?
Introduction to Enterprise Device Management and its Benefits
Enterprise MDM is a solution designed for mid- and large-size organizations that typically includes both software and services to administer security, security policies, and other management tasks for a large fleet of mobile devices. Enterprise MDM is an older term that has been evolving into Unified Endpoint Management, and the two terms may still be used interchangeably.
This software helps businesses securely oversee and monitor employee-owned and corporate-owned devices, including phones, tablets, and point-of-sale devices to name just a few. Services can mitigate these risks by providing control over how mobile devices are used and what data is stored.
This way, your business can authorize and issue devices, track their use, enforce security policies, secure lost or stolen devices, and ensure compliance.
Enterprise MDM solutions can be standalone solutions but are often offered as an add-on feature set of broader managed mobility services. By bundling capabilities, clients get a comprehensive solution that addresses both mobile device security and administrative management tasks across the entire lifecycle of devices – from ordering, setup, and shipping to invoice handling, repairs, decommissioning, recycling, and end-of-life services.
Check out Tangoe’s Device Lifecycle Management Services.
5 Steps for Implementing Mobile Device Management Solutions
MDM can help your business gain productivity while maintaining control over security, applications, and device management, but arriving at those outcomes requires successful implementation. The first step is to assess your needs and develop your policies. Next, you’ll need to choose a solution and enroll devices. Here’s a five-step plan for MDM implementation success.
- Assess Your Enterprise MDM Needs
Begin by assessing your needs, including the devices, applications and capabilities. Consider each type of device, including phones and laptops, as well as their operating systems, to ensure that they’re compatible with your solution. Similarly, review the enterprise MDM apps you anticipate you’ll need and confirm required compatibility and functionality before making purchasing decisions.
Beyond device requirements, make sure that your solution can grow with your anticipated needs. MDM should improve scalability, not limit it.
- Develop Enterprise MDM Policies
After assessing your needs, develop a clear and comprehensive policy for securing and managing devices across the enterprise and its different user groups. This policy should cover a few areas:
- One is permissions and tasks.
- Assign responsibility for managing and maintaining devices.
- Detail what types of apps and data are allowed, and share guidelines on how to access them.
Your mobility policy should also be instructional, a trusted resource for employees. Write out rules and guidelines for mobile device usage, security and compliance. Offer guidance on approved apps, data, and network usage, as well as how users and your IT team should respond to security issues, should an incident be identified.
Consider any needs that are unique to your organization, such as your corporate networks or how you manage expenses and billing. Don’t forget to consider vendor management, contract management, invoice processing procedures, and cost optimization, as these tasks should dovetail into mobile device management.
After you’re done, remember to regularly review and update your policies to adapt to changes in technology, compliance, security, and financial practices.
- Choose an Enterprise MDM Solution
There are a lot of mobile device management solutions available, so it’s important to partner with a reputable expert. Find a partner that can meet today’s needs and grow with you. Make sure your partner can help you meet your security and compliance needs.
While every situation is different, there are a few key features to look for in an MDM solution.
- For example, make sure you can centrally manage all mobile devices, handling security and logistics in one platform.
- Your solution should also offer features such as quote and order fulfillment, setup and activation, repair, and recycling, covering the complete lifecycle of the device.
- You may also want inventory management services to make sure your database is up to date at all times for easier management and simple quarantine should a security data breach occur.
- Consider also invoice handling and expense management, which can automatically review and reconcile bills, pay them, allocate costs to their appropriate departments, and identify cost savings opportunities.
- Another important feature is self-service portals that allow users to troubleshoot and service their own devices. These portals reduce IT costs by allowing users to perform simple tasks, like resetting passwords, without needing to contact the IT department.
- Finally, review available technical support services, including any Help Desk services, and Apple-certified repair services.
- Quality providers will be able to cover more services rather than fewer — as point solutions require more integration and more vendor management.
Get the complete Buyer’s Guide to Managed Mobility Solutions
- Enroll Devices and Train Users
Enrolling your devices typically involves installing software on every device, then configuring it to meet your requirements. This step can also include setting up additional security features, installing a VPN and configuring additional application settings. Keep in mind that enrolling devices isn’t a one-time action, but an ongoing process as employees’ transition or devices need upgrading. Decide whether your team can handle this work or if you need an outsourced service to manage the details.
- Monitor and Manage Devices
Finally, monitor and manage your organization’s enrolled devices. After employees receive their devices, start tracking what apps and data are in use. Just like device enrollment, this is an ongoing process. Regular review helps your IT people stay prepared to manage and secure devices. Regularly monitor devices for potential issues, such as malware or unauthorized access attempts.
While device tracking might not be a feature your users need every day, it’s incredibly useful for locating lost or missing devices. Ongoing device management also requires inventory management, integration, software, and app updates to your devices. Changes happen often, so make sure you monitor them for potential security and compliance issues, using integration to know what state each device is in at all times.
Learn more about how Tangoe clients always know the status of their mobile devices.
Building the Right Enterprise MDM Solution for Your Business
MDM solutions are constantly evolving to meet the changing needs of businesses and security protections. Here at Tangoe, we tailor our Managed Mobility Services with MDM via Unified Endpoint Management to satisfy the most stringent industry-specific security and compliance requirements for our clients. We also consistently expand our solution features to make our comprehensive IT expense management platform more user-friendly. This way it’s easier for businesses of all sizes to implement and use them.
Learn why enterprises like yours trust Tangoe to manage their 14M mobile devices and why Gartner consistently names Tangoe a Visionary for global managed mobility services. Explore Tangoe One Mobility Management Services.