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To Control or Not? The Mobile Device Management Question

The mobile device management (MDM) market is growing at a meteoric rate. In fact,  it is estimated to grow from $1.69 billion to 5.32 billion between 2016 and 2021, according to market research firm Markets and Markets. Which may leave you wondering: What is MDM and why does it matter so much? Here’s a closer look at this game-changing technology solution, along with six benefits it offers today’s forward-thinking, bottom line-minded organizations.

What is MDM?

IT research and advisory company Gartner defines mobile device management as “a range of products and services that enables organizations to deploy and support corporate applications to mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, possibly for personal use—enforcing policies and maintaining the desired level of IT control across multiple platforms.”

Which begs the question: Why does MDM matter so much? A recent forecast from the International Data Corporation (IDC) predicts that nearly 75 percent of the US workforce will be mobile-enabled by the year 2020. Because of the increasing consumerization of IT and the resulting proliferation of devices—both professional and personal in the workplace—there is increasing need for comprehensive management solutions designed to harness the power of mobility without compromising security.

Said IDC research analyst Bryan Bassett, “Mobility has become synonymous with productivity both inside and outside the workplace, and the mass adoption of mobile technology in the United States has cultivated an environment where workers expect to leverage mobile technology at work. This expectation will be supplemented by new solutions specifically intended to manage the challenges associated with the growing needs of the mobile workforce.” Enter MDM.

Six Benefits of MDM

MDM allows organizations to to manage users’ devices from from the cloud or a server. This comprises a broad range of functions, including deploying software, enabling access to resources, tracking devices, remotely wiping data from devices, applying browsing policies, and more.  The result? Organizations benefits from all of the upsides of a mobility workforce while still enforcing business-critical network access practices and policies. Specifically, MDM offers the following six benefits:

1. BYOD Management

While BYOD trims costs and boosts productivity, lack of technical support has often necessitated policies forbidding the use of personal mobile devices when accessing certain company data and resources. MDM addresses this gap, allowing organizations to make the most of BYOD without compromising security.

2. Enhanced Regulatory Compliance

While adhering to regulatory compliance standards is imperative for many organizations, doing so is exponentially complicated by today’s mobile landscape. In allowing centralized monitoring and tracking of compliance initiatives, MDM supports network integrity.

3. Better Application, Audit and Update Control

MDM’s centralized functionality also means administrators can control and regulate all mobile applications which support employee productivity. Updates and patches, meanwhile, are essential to security, not to mention a requirement when government compliance regulations are involved. MDM ensures that all systems and devices are current at all times thereby protecting the data.

4. Central and Remotely Controlled Audits and Updates

Remote configuration saves time, while remote management offers an additional level of protection—especially if the need arises to disable or remotely disconnect an application or user.

5. Improved Enforcement of Security Procedures and Protocols

All organizations have security procedures and protocols in places across everything from password regulations to access limitations, but they’re often unenforceable in traditional IT environments. MDM allows organizations to extend these security protocols to mobile devices.

6. Automatic Data Backup

When devices are connected to MDM solutions, so is the data contained therein. Therefore, corporate data is automatically backed up consistent with an organization’s standard backup politics. This minimizes the chance of information loss while optimizing business continuity.

In sum, the mobile movement offers a breadth and depth of opportunities, but is also accompanied by new obstacles. MDM helps organizations mitigate these challenges while maximizing all of the productivity-enhancing benefits of mobile.