Personal Small Business Enterprise

The Importance of Mobile Device Management

These days, everyone is used to talking, emailing and accessing the Internet from anywhere. In fact, most of us bring our mobile devices with us everywhere we go, and we want to be able to use our devices everywhere we go as well – including in the workplace (this is commonly referred to as BYOD, or bring your own device)

With all this mobile movement going on, your business may need a unified way to secure, manage and support various devices across multiple operating systems.

Why you may need a Mobile Device Management (MDM) solution
If your business supports BYOD, you have limited control over how employee devices are used. Your employees can use their personal devices to access company data and apps, but they may also download third-party apps that could expose sensitive data on that device to malware or hackers.

What Mobile Device Management can do for your business
Since concerns about keeping mobile devices secure have been the primary driver of Mobile Device Management adoption, most solutions offer data encryption, password protection features and the ability to remotely lock or wipe a device if an employee leaves the company or reports their device as lost or stolen (such as the Balance feature on the new BlackBerry Z10). You can also look for features that shut down a device’s camera, WiFi or Bluetooth outside secure parameters.

Other features commonly found in Mobile Device Management solutions include the ability to:

  • Scan outside apps to block users from inadvertently installing malware
  • Whitelist or blacklist access to certain data or applications based on the user’s identity, location, job title or security clearance level
  • Generate ongoing reports on blocked apps and possible lost or stolen devices (eg., alert you if a user hasn’t signed onto the device for a few days or a week)
  • Prevent certain types of sensitive data from being emailed outside the company from a mobile device

Some MDM solutions even help your company manage telecom costs by tracking voice minutes, long distance charges, roaming and data fees. You can also shut off access to some of these features if an employee goes over an allotted limit.

The Bottom Line
A mobile device management solution can help you keep an inventory of all devices used and also track costs associated with their usage. Allowing staff to use the device of their choice may not only boost employee satisfaction and productivity, it could save your business money on device acquisition costs too.

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