Remote Access vs. Mobile Device Management: what’s the difference?

Find out how to choose whether remote access or mobile device management software is best for your business.

Remote access software and mobile device management (MDM) is revolutionizing IT management, workforce processes, and customer service support for a growing number of businesses. Organizations can select remote access as a standalone solution or as an integrated feature in MDM software. But with all the options available it can be confusing to know which is best for your business.

What works for you depends on the size and specific needs of your organization. For example, many small teams and offices that don’t have a massive amount of mobile devices to manage may find that remote access tools such as remote control, file sharing, and some light member management for everyday operations is sufficient. In contrast, medium to large size businesses may require a full remote device management solution with robust monitoring and management capabilities, security enhancements, advanced access rights, app management, remote control, and the ability to lockdown and track devices.

For managing a large fleet of devices, mobile device management software that consolidates monitoring, managing, controlling, securing, and tracking devices out in the field is essential. The ability to have complete visibility and control over attended and unattended devices from a central dashboard supports the increased productivity and efficiency of employees, customers, and IT technicians. This can make a real difference to the success of your enterprise.

Here are some important tips to guide you in choosing whether remote access or mobile device management software is right for you.

The differences between remote access and mobile device management software

For small businesses that want to start with standalone remote access software, the features typically include:

  • remote control
  • desktop sharing
  • remote camera capabilities
  • remote file transfer
  • member management

This is often sufficient for teams with around 10 or more attended or unattended devices. Options for extra devices, add-ons, and upgrades are usually offered as well so your organization can remotely access devices at any scale.

Many small- to medium-sized organizations that need to frequently monitor the status of their devices without being onsite can benefit from both device management and remote access capabilities that a complete mobile device management solution offers. This integrates remote access along with other advanced management features such as:

  • device grouping
  • member access rights
  • centralized app management
  • security provisions
  • remote control
  • file sharing

Medium- to large-sized organizations that need to manage a large fleet of devices can simplify the process with a mobile device management solution that consolidates all the features of remote access apps along with managing groups of devices out in the field. Useful add-ons can include kiosk mode, Application Management Service (AMS), and geofencing. Monitoring, managing, controlling, securing, and tracking devices through an easy-to-use interface gives your IT team robust visibility and control over every device in your fleet.

Why many businesses choose both remote access and mobile device management     

While there are many apps that focus on either remote access (such as AnyDesk, Splashtop, and LogMeIn) or device management (such as Scalefusion, Hexnode, and ManageEngine) many businesses of various sizes have found that having both works best. This is because remote access and device management leverage the capabilities of each other in a more efficient way. Also, a mobile device management solution can provide a full overview of your devices through reporting and analytics capabilities, allowing you to make well-informed decisions to optimize business growth and efficiency. Especially if you have more than 20-30 devices and/or unattended devices such as mPOS kiosks, vending machines, and digital signage, you’ll definitely need to monitor, manage, and be able to remotely access them. 

AirDroid Business includes both remote access and device management to effectively manage Android devices. While our Basic plan is available for those small offices and startups that only want remote access, our Ultimate and Enterprise plans are suited for organizations that require both. Advanced management options like device grouping are essential for teams that need to frequently monitor devices remotely.

Many organizations have found that the capability of a mobile device management solution to track, lockdown, and wipe devices is indispensable in order to ensure device security and adherence to company policies. You can even receive alerts when a device is out of compliance. For instance, mobile devices used by transport drivers can be locked down using kiosk mode to ensure the device is only used for required business tasks. Unattended devices such as mPOS kiosks, vending machines, and digital signage can also be monitored for issues in the local environment that may be hindering their functionality through the device’s camera.

Final considerations

When choosing between a standalone remote access solution or mobile device management software that integrates remote access it’s important to know the specific mobile device requirements of your business. For those with small IT teams and offices, a remote access solution may fit your price point while providing remote control, file sharing, and simple member management.

For organizations that need device management and remote access with advanced options like device grouping and member access rights, a complete mobile device management solution may be the best choice. To manage a large fleet of devices a mobile device management solution is needed that can consolidate all functionality in an easy-to-use main interface that provides full remote control and monitoring capabilities.

As a provider of innovative solutions for Android device management, AirDroid Business understands that different organizations have various needs depending on a range of factors like the size of their mobile device fleet. This is why we’ve introduced our new pricing plans to ensure every business can get a reliable device management solution while only paying for the functionality that’s needed. To see for yourself if AirDroid Business is right for your team, take advantage of a free 14-day trial today.  

Comments are closed.