How to understand and deploy mobile management tools

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The use of mobile technology is outpacing that of desktops. In fact, mobile devices now account for more than 60 percent of access to digital content, according to ComScore.

Companies are reconfiguring their systems to deliver enterprise functions to mobile screens in recognition of this ongoing trend. There is a tendency to consider the work complete once the apps have been delivered, but changes to the enterprise support infrastructure need to be made to keep company data safe.

Mobile device management (MDM) software is the best way to assure safe use of portable devices and protect company assets.

MDMs have differing capabilities and your choice depends on how you deploy your mobile devices. The difference between bring-your-own-device (BYOD) and company-owned, personally enabled (COPE) plans can make a significant difference in your approach to management.

A BYOD plan means you will need to deal with a heterogeneous mixture of hardware and operating systems as well as an exploding selections of apps based on each user’s preferences. COPE plans allow the company to select the hardware and operating system and consolidate overall management at the cost of purchasing and supporting the equipment throughout its lifecycle.

Fortunately, for both BYOD and COPE, there are containerization technologies that segment personal apps and data from enterprise apps and data.

Here are three guiding principles to follow when selecting an MDM for your mobile workforce:

1. Management suites

Look for a single management system that includes device management, app management, and security, at the very least.

Individual packages may offer best-of-breed features and performance, but dealing with multiple individual applications complicates the task and dilutes overall capabilities. An integrated set of functions consolidates oversight and management into a package that is more easily deployed and maintained.

2. User experience

Make certain the controls put in place by the system are transparent to the user. Best practices dictate getting user feedback on planned deployments by testing with a group of employees, then considering their feedback before making a purchase decision.

Overly burdensome procedures and interfaces are prime factors for dissatisfaction. Users should be able to self-provision their devices, and application delivery should be completely transparent.

3. Plan for the future

The world of mobile devices grows and changes almost daily. Whereas smartphones and tablets dominate today, the future could be ruled by smartwatches, eyewear, or as-yet-unknown gadgets.

The management system you deploy must be extensible and able to accommodate whatever the market decides is the next mobile productivity device.

Decisions about managing mobile technology are complex. That’s why your company’s approach to mobility services should be based on your own goals and infrastructure.

Scott Koegler Writer Sponsored Post About Scott

Scott Koegler is a technology journalist with a specialization on the intersection of business and technology. All opinions are his own. AT&T has sponsored this blog post.