What is a Mobile Device Management Software?
Mobile Device Management software is an integrative, flexible, and centralized solution for securing mobile devices in the workplace and the networks they are tied to. The point of MDM is to give administrators and IT professionals the ability to configure mobile devices within the enterprise. MDM also allows administrators to set policies, distribute apps, and synchronize data among users, either physically or over-the-air.
How Mobile Device Management Software Works
MDM begins at a centralized location, usually a single workstation or computer. From this centralized point, the administrator can use the Mobile Device Management software to oversee all the devices in the network. This is done by using the software to set up a suite of policies so that all devices that have access to the network will adhere to enterprise standards.
Once the policies are set, administrators can then enroll smartphones, tablets, laptops, and even desktop computers into the network. Depending upon software capabilities and corporate security requirements, device enrollment can be accomplished, either by physically connecting devices to the workstation, or wirelessly.
From this point, enrolled devices can be configured to meet enterprise needs through a host of options including personalized app catalogs, user restrictions, app blacklisting, and so forth. These configurations help to ensure that all devices comply to set policies while at the same time allowing users the best device experience possible. At any time a device is enrolled into the network, MDM software allows administrators to make policy changes, push apps, install updates, and any other changes that are necessary. Administrators can even disenroll and restrict devices whenever necessary.
Features and Functionalities
Mobile Device Management Suite, such as the solution from Hexnode MDM, offers a host of features that gives administrators the ability to take full advantage of their mobile networks. Take charge of all mobile devices by ensuring that they comply to enterprise policy, have the necessary apps, and stay updated.
MDM allows administrators to manage as many mobile devices that need to be connected to the network. It could be just a few, or number in the thousands. They can be easily, and wirelessly enrolled, monitored, and tracked from a centralized dashboard. This makes device configuration a breeze.
App Distribution and App Catalogs
Another great feature is App Distribution. Administrators can create custom app catalogs that that can grouped by categories and can be tailored to individual user needs. Once created, the apps can be made available to users through a convenient webclip. Mobile Device Management softwares, such as is offered from Hexnode, go a step further by enabling users to install apps directly from online stores such as Google Play, as well as enterprise apps and even apps currently in development.
Bring Your Own Device
MDM solutions can make BYOD programs a huge success by allowing users to use personal devices in the enterprise. Personal devices can be enrolled, managed, restricted, and configured to comply with any set policies, just as any corporate devices enrolled into the program.
An MDM solution, such as Hexnode MDM, wouldn’t be complete without a feature that enables administrators to generate detailed reports on devices connected to the network. Administrators can analyze all sorts of data, including device usage, compliance, and security violations.
Other features include:
- Intelligent grouping of devices and users
- iOS and Android compatibility
- Policy customization and enforcement
- Completely wireless, hands-off approach
- Simplified management tools
- Mandatory app push
- App black/whitelisting
- Jailbreak/root detection
- Remote lock/wipe
- Supervised mode
- And much more
Hexnode MDM is a user-centric environment. This means that the focus is on the user experience (UX) while the administrative aspects run in the background and are unobtrusive as possible. Users can get work done while devices remain secure. This style of approach makes it easy for administrators to keep tabs on the entire network, from enrollment process to compliance checks, without ever interfering with users.
This user-centric approach can be completely hands-free. All aspects of MDM can be handled over-the-air, right out of the box, without administrators ever having to physically handle the devices. This makes for quick and easy enrollment, instant app installment, and constant device tracking, freeing up time for other administrative duties.
MDM to Match
MDM software isn’t just for business. It is an all-inclusive solution for any type of environment that employs a network of mobile devices. Mobile devices used in healthcare are easier to manage and keep patient information secure. Educational institutions in all levels of learning can manage shared classroom devices as well as BYODs used around campus. No matter the need, there is an MDM solution that can be designed to meet them.
How to choose an MDM Solution?
With every small and big business going mobile and every day innovations in mobile technologies, choosing the right Mobile Device Management solution is very important and critical for business. The importance of choosing the right suite needs no emphasis. It has to be selected considering its pros and cons in a longer run. Keeping up with competition in today’s world means one has to have a futuristic approach to keep the business running smooth. With so many features of security, reporting, management etc being dependent on your MDM solution, it can be challenging to choose the one which is and will be best for your business.
Here are some important points to consider.
Features and Use cases:
Every solution should first and foremost solve the existing problems. So, it’s the first thing to consider even while choosing an MDM solution for your business. It should be able to provide the basic set of features that meet your requirements like the kind of device support or policy configurations or content and application management. It should be able satisfy your use cases, be it reporting or compliance rules and actions. Your requirements may include location aware functionalities if your device users travel across places or you may have very specific context or content related policy.
Range of device support:
With so many kinds of mobile devices and platforms available in the market, it is an important consideration to see what all devices and platforms does the MDM solution support. Sometimes, an MDM will offer different feature support for different platforms. Based on your current requirements and MDM solutions provider’s enhancement plans, you can device a successful MDM strategy.
Integration and Extensibility
Integration and Extensibility into other enterprise tools is increasingly becoming a crucial factor. When all your systems/solutions will start working together, the processes will speed up and the system in whole will become less error prone and more productive. When a company has made significant investments in its existing system, integration is essential. The best solution would allow all the control and monitoring from a single access point. Ease of extensibility from device management to content and application management is an additional advantage.
Security is always the top concern of any business while choosing an MDM solution. The devices which will be monitored contain very sensitive business data and applications like customer information or credentials or business related files. It is of utmost importance that the MDM solutions provide proper encryption to corporate data, secure its networks and have safety features of wiping or locking lost devices.
Scalability is crucial factor in a longer run. Regardless of your current needs, the best solution should be scalable so that any number of new devices or users can be accommodated easily.
Mode of deployment
Cloud based deployment or on-premise deployment; both have their own pros and cons. On one hand, where cloud based systems are easy to implement and have very minimal infrastructure needs, they come with configuration related limitations and security concerns. On the other hand, on-premise solutions offer more control and advanced capabilities but they are not best if cost is a parameter.
Given the fact that the mobile technologies are rapidly evolving everyday, it would be good to know that the MDM solution you choose is future proof, at least for few years. As an instance, you may be using company provided specific set of devices currently, but it would be great if your MDM system can support varied range of devices so that you can move to BYOD whenever the business needs.
There would be many more specific set of considerations based on your business type and needs like MDM vendors reputation, long term support, technical support available, licensing models etc. The list is long. Usual process includes listing the use cases, short listing vendors based on above mentioned points followed by trial of the solutions and choosing what works best for you.