Mobile device management (MDM) should be part of any good IT setup, especially for companies that make use of remote working. There are many issues for mobile device users that can be avoided through having an MDM solution in place, freeing up your IT team to work on more important matters.
1. Reduce risks of BYOD policies
Many companies rely on BYOD (bring your own device) policies, rather than supplying laptops and smartphones to their staff. Whilst from a financial standpoint this is incredibly practical, it can create a lot of extra work for your IT team. Some issues that can arise due to BYOD policies include:
- -Losing the device
- -Deleting vital software
- -Not having the most recent OS
- -Public exposure (via public hotspots)
- -Third party use
- -Malicious apps
Imagine if one of your remote sales team members deleted their computer telephony integration software. Normally, you’d either have to have one of your IT team call them up and walk them through reinstalling it, or they might even have to travel to the office.
With MDM, this initial deletion can be avoided by negating their permission to remove vital programmes – and even if that wasn’t in place, it could be fixed remotely without the employee needing to do anything.
One of the most important aspects of MDM for this, is containerization. This allows your IT team to keep corporate data separated from any personal use. That way, should the user download any malicious apps, connect to a compromised public hotspot, or let a friend use their phone, it won’t affect any corporate data or apps.
2. Increase security
Even without BYOD policies, mobile devices pose an increased security risk. A connected workforce will usually have at least one mobile device each – whether that’s a tablet, laptop, or smartphone. The potential for one to be lost is high – which is especially worrying for any company that deals with confidential data.
With an MDM solution, there are two main solutions to this common problem available. Firstly, they can enable GPS in order to track the device – increasing the chances of it being recovered (and if stolen, taking appropriate action).
However, even if the device can’t be found, it can ensure that no data is compromised by remotely wiping everything from it. These added security measures can hugely impact your IT team’s workload, as they won’t need to attempt to respond to a successful security breach. Instead, you can prevent it happening in the first place.
3. Up-to-date content
For many sales agents, having up-to-date content is a must. This is especially important when selling software or working in the digital realm. If you get in touch with a SaaS marketing agency, you’d expect them to utilize the most cutting-edge solutions. It would be hard to trust them if they don’t.
MDM can save your IT team time here, too, allowing them to push automatic updates to any managed devices. This can be applied to any content that you might need employees to have on them – whether that’s software, product images, or applications.
This also links to the above point about security – you can control which apps are able to open things, meaning any company related documents can only be opened by approved applications.
It can be useful for other departments, too. Imagine if all your teachers that were working remotely had instant access to top tier resources and the best practices for remote learning. Or if your healthcare providers could have patient data on their devices, safe in the knowledge the latest security measures were applied.
This ability to keep content and resources up to date, without users having to manually do anything, is a great way to help both your IT team and other staff be more efficient.
4. Remote troubleshooting
We’ve touched on this above, but it’s worth discussing in it’s own right. With MDM, you open up the ability for your IT team to perform remote troubleshooting on devices – both those provided, and those owned by employees directly.
Let’s take a look at an example of how much more efficient it can make your team. If you change VoIP service providers, your IT team is going to have to employ the initial change. This involves uninstalling old software, installing new software, potentially training employees on how to use it, and then following up on questions and issues.
They might need to call remote employees to the office in order to manually do this on their devices, and any other issues might get put on the back burner. They’ll also need to keep track of which devices they’ve updated and which they haven’t, as well as physically storing them if they’ve been left with them.
With MDM, this task becomes much simpler. The uninstall and new install can be done remotely, and the software can also show which devices have been done and which are yet to do. You can provide a video solution to the training issue, recording tutorials and sharing them appropriately. Then, when the inevitable questions do come in, they can take control of the device remotely in order to do a diagnostics check and resolve the problem.
This leaves them much more time to work on other issues that arise, as well as being more efficient for the mobile device users, too.
The ability to resolve issues remotely is a major part of MDM, and one that is especially useful for companies who don’t have a centralized IT team or have a lot of remote employees.
5. Manage kiosk devices
Personal devices aren’t the only type of device MDM is useful for. If you’re a physical retail business, you’re likely to need kiosk devices. Rather than investing in a dedicated piece of hardware, more small and medium businesses are turning to everyday devices, especially tablets, with appropriate software installed. This is even more common with unattended devices as part of a solution to problems caused by the pandemic.
There’s always a risk of these devices being interfered with – if you’re a small business, you might provide customer support on social media using the same device that you use to make sales. You don’t want customers being able to access these social media accounts, nor do you want them to accidentally wipe important data from the device. MDM allows you to have a ‘kiosk only’ mode, where the only things accessible are what you want to be accessible.
You can even restrict access to certain websites. For instance, if you have an ecommerce store and have been doing some mobile marketing, customers might want to ask about certain products or offers they’ve seen. Your kiosk can be set up in such a way as to allow access to these campaigns, while restricting further internet use – meaning you can help your customers without adding a new security risk.
John Allen, Director, Global SEO at RingCentral, a global UCaaS, VoIP and contact center solutions provider. He has over 14 years of experience and an extensive background in building and optimizing digital marketing programs. He has written for websites such as Bricsys and RTInsights