What is Mobile Device Management?
Mobile Device Management (MDM) is a kind of software than can be used to monitor, manage, secure and support mobile devices. These devices can be used with different service providers, mobile operators and enterprises and may be company owned or even devices owned by consumers. Usually this includes an over the air style of getting applications and data for many different types of mobile devices. The mobile devices that can be managed include mobile phones, printers, computers, tablets, smartphones, and even mobile Point Of Sale (POS) devices.
Why is it important?
Because mobile devices are being used more and more by businesses and consumers alike, controlling and protecting both the settings and the data for all devices that are connected in the network is increasingly important. Mobile Device Management is designed to help reduce business risks and increase the functionality of mobile communications networks. By allowing employees to do more work through their mobile devices, costs can be reduced. However, with the many different mobile operators, service providers, hardware and software that is available, the diversity can be hard to keep track of unless there is a management platform that can support multiple platforms. In addition, many employees use not only company issued devices, but often use their personal devices in conjunction with them.
Why should corporations use this?
Because businesses often run at a higher speed by using mobile devices, without coordination of types of applications or configurations being used, mobile communication could be hampered and the necessary changes and updates would be practically impossible without Mobile Device Management. By being able to have central management of any and all devices, business can flow more quickly and downtime is minimal. Mobile devices can be configured over the air and devices can even be locked remotely if company protocols are not being followed. This provides a greater level of security to all information being shared on the corporate network. Because not only the average employee is using mobile devices, but those at the top of the corporate ladder are also becoming extremely mobile, sensitive data owned by the corporation is moving about essentially in the pocket or briefcase of management and other employees. Because this presents a security risk, MDM is necessary to manage the corporate data that may be at risk.
What kinds of software are available to do this?
There are many different software packages that give you excellent Mobile Device Management. Among the crowd you will find software by Zenprice, Airwatch, Mobile Active Defense, IBM, Google, and most recently RIM. Some of these packages only work with specific devices. By comparing them, you should be able to find the one that will work best for you.
Benefits and challenges faced with Mobile Device Management:
While there are many benefits to Mobile Device Management, including reduced costs, increased security, increased productivity and improved communication, there are some definite challenges that must also be faced. The IT personnel responsible for MDM must keep track of all the devices connected to the system and verify that the security requirements are met. There must also be a method for disabling or removing sensitive corporate information in the event a device is stolen or lost.