Mobile device management (MDM) is a vital component of the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy. BYOD provides a range of benefits— lowers costs in particular— while increasing employee satisfaction.
BYOD essentially lets a company outsource technology. The responsibility for acquiring mobile devices— smartphones, tablets, and computers— rests with employees who, in turn, can decide for themselves which devices suit them best. BYOD also gives employees greater freedom to decide where and how they work. This increased work comfort and familiarity with devices can improve productivity and employee satisfaction.
However, ineffective BYOD can backfire by creating major security risks and support/integration costs.
MDM’s Critical Role
MDM solutions offer several benefits to BYOD:
- Automatic device updates
- Remote monitoring and configuration
- Easy management of software deployment and access to resources
- Device tracking
- Remote erasing/disconnection/disabling of data and devices
- Backup/restore corporate data
- Logging and reporting needed for compliance
By automating device updates, mobile device management ensures BYOD devices are kept up-to-date with the latest patches— this reduces security threats and improves stability and functionality. With remote monitoring and configuration, MDM makes it much easier to implement and maintain BYOD policy. The potential support costs of BYOD are reduced by using MDM to handle deployment of software on devices and manage access to resources.
Strengthening the security side of the BYOD equation, MDM solutions allow the tracking of devices and, if necessary, the disconnection or disabling of devices and even remote wiping of devices and data. The integrity of corporate data is maintained with automatic backup and restore functionality. And finally, the potentially onerous demands of corporate compliance are eased with MDM’s ability to log and report a range of data concerning both the devices themselves and their use.
The Security vs. Comfort Compromise
All effective security is essentially a matter of finding the right compromise between 100% security and the levels of access required to make effective use of the resources. BYOD makes it even more important to ensure your organisation finds the right compromise.
In addition to the benefits of MDM to BYOD security listed above, there is one more area in which BYOD boosts security: device familiarity. Because users tend to have a greater familiarity with their devices, they are less likely to make mistakes that can hurt security.
Where BYOD is properly integrated with an MDM solution and cloud services, data is kept off devices and user familiarity becomes even more powerful, creating a compelling combination of savings, flexibility, and productivity.
The benefits of cloud integration and MDM are not being lost on enterprises. A recent survey of 582 enterprises by Clutch found cloud integration to be the number one mobility priority for enterprises in terms of both current efforts and plans for the future. The same survey found managed services— MDM, mobility managed services and mobility application management— to be among the four top mobility initiatives being pursued by enterprises. The struggle to balance access to data versus data security was shown to be the biggest challenge in mobility investments.
Clearly, then mobile device management is not an option. It is a vital component in order to allow companies to enjoy the benefits of BYOD without falling victim to its potential disadvantages. At CustomTec, we can help you better understand MDM and its benefits to BYOD and your business. Contact us now for more information.