Today’s enterprise employees depend on mobile devices both personally and professionally. The ability to access apps and data quickly and securely, especially when moving between home and the office, is more important than ever. But how does it maintain a secure network and a work-like experience while allowing employees to use the devices they prefer?
This is where Mobile Device Management (MDM) comes into play.
MDM refers to the administrative process and security software responsible for monitoring, securing and managing mobile devices in the enterprise. It refers to both business-owned and BYO devices, such as smartphones and tablets. MDM software is designed to optimize device functionality while protecting data across the corporate network. The ideal MDM solution allows for device freedom and a user-friendly experience without compromising the security of the corporate network.
MDM functionality typically includes over-the-air distribution of applications, data and configuration settings for all types of mobile devices, including mobile phones, smartphones, tablet computers, ruggedized mobile computers, mobile printers, mobile POS devices, etc. This applies to both company-owned and employee-owned (BYOD) devices across the enterprise or mobile devices owned by consumers. Consumer Demand for BYOD is now requiring a greater effort for MDM and increased security for both the devices and the enterprise they connect to, especially since employers and employees have different expectations on the type of restrictions that should be applied to mobile devices.
Typically solutions include a server component, which sends out the management commands to the mobile devices, and a client component, which runs on the handset and receives and implements the management commands.
Device management software platforms ensure that end-users benefit from plug and play data services for whatever device they are using. Such a platform can automatically detect devices in the network, sending them settings for immediate and continued usability. The process is fully automated, keeps a history of used devices and sends settings only to subscriber devices which were not previously set, sometimes at speeds reaching 50 over-the-air settings update files per second. Device management systems can deliver this function by filtering IMEI/IMSI pairs.
By controlling and protecting the data and configuration settings for all mobile devices in the network, MDM can reduce support costs and business risks.
As the bring your own device approach becomes increasingly popular across mobile service providers, MDM lets corporations provide employees with access to the internal networks using a device of their choice, whilst these devices are managed remotely with minimal disruption to employees’ schedules.
Present day MDM solutions offer both Software as a Service (SaaS) and on-premises models. In the rapidly evolving industry such as mobile, SaaS (cloud-based) systems are quicker to set up, offer easier updates with lower capital costs compared to on-premises solutions which require costly hardware, need regular software maintenance, and incur higher capital costs.