Tips for Choosing Mobile Device Management Tools

By Lauren Fritsky

Mobile device management is often touted as a cure-all for handling the consumerisation of IT, and for good reason. MDM software can help IT departments better secure and manage a variety of devices, including controlling how employees access certain applications and corporate data. Like most technology solutions, getting the most out of these tools depends on what specific needs your organisation has regarding mobile device use at work. Here are a few areas to consider before you choose an MDM solution.

Determine the core features required

Your device management options are almost as vast as the number of devices you could allow in your workplace. Organisations working with Datacom have used a number of different MDM solutions – it all depends on which features are most relevant to your organisation. Some device management tools focus more on policy or application management while others have extra security functions, such as data containers. There are other mobile device management options which carry extra features such as automated enrolment, enhanced reporting capabilities and integration. You also have the option of hosting the solution onsite, in the cloud or using a third party service through a managed services provider.

Pick the devices to support

Key in choosing a mobile device management solution is determining which devices and operating systems to support in addition to whether you will allow employee-owned devices and company-issued ones to co-exist. MDM functions vary based on device operating system, make and model and in how much access the IT department has to native settings. Mobile operating system fragmentation is also creating challenges that increasingly require IT to choose which devices and features to allow so they don’t have to perform manual setup on a regular basis.

Consider the depth of security

Most mobile device management systems will include elements such as authentication, encryption, virus checks and data wipe. Certain MDMs can use native APIs to manage devices used remotely, and you also have the option of tacking on third-party features for added security. Data wipe sounds like a final, harsh solution to dealing with compromised devices, but certain management tools actually target only corporate data, not the complete device. If you do institute a complete data wipe policy for compromised devices, Datacom recommends letting users know this is a possibility so they can ensure they back up their personal data.

Manage your assets

One of the riskier things that can happen when you allow a flurry of devices into the organisation is losing track of what data and business applications are being stored on them. Regardless of which type of MDM tool you choose, best practice dictates you manage devices from enrolment to deactivation so you can fully monitor all corporate data and applications stored on them. This asset management approach helps IT get a better handle on security, software licenses and application deployment.

Which mobile device management solution has worked at your organisation?

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