Shaping Your Mobile Device Management Strategy: Part I

Now that mobile device management (MDM) isn’t a matter of when your organisation will need it but how you’ve managed to get by so long without it, the smart CIO is the one actively working on an MDM strategy.

With many employees using personal laptops, smartphones and tablets, IT executives and managers are faced with difficult issues covering the gamut of procurement and contracts to support and repair. Through a proper MDM strategy, your organisation will be able to not only manage myriad devices, but also boost employee productivity while ensuring data security and keeping costs low. Besides creating and enforcing MDM departmental procedures, you can select software and tools to help your department manage their mobile devices.

Of course, the right policies and the right tools will differ based on every organisation’s unique situation. But as you shape your own MDM strategy, consider these guidelines:

1.    Protecting corporate and financial data is always the top priority. You can’t boost worker productivity and, in turn, improve operations if you’re constantly putting mobile devices on lockdown due to security breaches. Most IT departments forbid any confidential corporate data on an unencrypted device or network. Barring your employees from conducting business on the hotel’s convenient open wireless network may be the source of some consternation, but it’s your safest bet. And when employees need to use a corporate or personal credit card online, they’ll need to use some other device, plain and simple.

2.    Provide the right communications applications on mobile devices. Too often employees are not given the tools they need, and, as such, they’ll use their personal email addresses or social media accounts. While the CIO’s role is certainly not to thwart proactive employees, he or she must ensure business is conducted securely and with the proper tools. If your organisation provides the proper communications software — for instance, extending your unified communications platform to mobile devices —, your employees won’t have to use personal applications to conduct business.

3.    Find a vendor that manages technology and support top to bottom. A good IT outsourcer can source the right MDM tools and solutions for your organisation, leaving your employees the freedom to use their mobile devices for work, not constantly work on their mobile devices. Your vendor should handle the MDM software recommendations and implementation procedure. They should also be able to tell you everything you can do with your MDM solution, such as monitoring and reporting.

As your organisation evolves, so must your MDM strategy. But establishing a solid foundation for your MDM strategy now is your best shot to handle the vagaries of the mobile device world.

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