Nadav Avni, Chief Marketing Officer, Radix Technologies, discusses the challenges posed by a Bring-Your-Own-Device strategy, and how organisations can improve their device management techniques.
Device management in corporate environments has evolved drastically over the years, thanks to the explosive popularity of smartphones. Many workers found their latest devices could perform as well as (or even better than) their office-issued technology. As companies grow in scale, more and more employees began using their personal mobile devices for work purposes.
Eventually, enterprise companies embraced the Bring-Your-Own-Device strategy. As a result, organisations realised they could limit the issuance of fleet devices to essential workers only. Additionally, allowing a mix of corporate devices and BYODs reduced the need for extensive, corporate-wide budgeting for hardware upgrades, spare devices, and parts. Instead, the IT team simply provided BYOD employees with user credentials for access to the corporate network.
However, while the BYOD approach to device management has many benefits, it also presents a variety of challenges. In addition to network security issues, effectively troubleshooting multiple operating systems can be a real nightmare.
Device Management Challenges in Corporate Environments
In the past year, remote work has become a viable alternative to spending the entire day at the office. This made mobile technology even more popular with employees. Even the most basic smartphone can handle communication tasks like email, voice chat, and videoconferencing. If they need to access files at the office, cloud-based software allows remote employees to log in from home.
While this system has provided extreme convenience to workers, IT teams are working harder than ever. Mobile technology growth requires providing employees with the tools needed to do work outside of the office, ensuring critical files and documents are available night and day. At the same time, IT must maintain the integrity of the corporate network and its servers: each device connecting to the corporate server should be able to do so securely, no matter the brand or operating system being used.
IT teams face several challenges when performing device management in corporate environments, like the following:
Enterprise System Integration
Adding and removing mobile devices may seem deceivingly easy. However, device management in corporate environments should ensure that the system will accept mobile devices of every type. This involves accepting different operating systems and various product specifications. Despite their differences, each device should seamlessly connect to the system, then connect with other devices as well.
Mobile Device Management (MDM)
Instead of depending on users to perform checks or manual updates to critical firmware or software, automating these tasks encourages better compliance. It also ensures that all devices remain compatible in terms of software version or data content. Remote management can solve the problem of diagnosing, troubleshooting and repairing system or software errors. It can also update select devices to stay on track with previously updated devices.
Mobile Device Security
Security policies are necessary to maintain the corporate network’s integrity. Some employees may have lax habits when keeping passwords secure or logging out. The IT team should have measures in place to prevent incidents where unauthorised users can slip into the network unnoticed. This may include automatically banning the use of public WIFI networks in the office or automatically logging out users after a set period of time.
Encouraging Industry Compliance
Business information isn’t just confidential, it’s sensitive. For specific industries, strict rules and policies cover the storage of information, such as HIPAA (for medical records) and GDPR (for European Community citizens). Companies that neglect to enforce these regulations face heavy fines. Having your mobile device management team aware of applicable regulations can improve compliance.
Improving user experience simply means fine-tuning the interface to encourage employees to use the system. In addition, the system should promote compatibility among different devices and a variety of operating systems without encountering problems.
Managing Lost or Stolen Devices
In case of emergencies, when a company or personal device gets lost or stolen while logged into the network, the system should shut down the device remotely. Immediately afterwards, it can either wipe the data or render the device locked or unusable. This helps secure the company data and guarantees the finder won’t be able to use the device.
Effective Device Management in Corporate Environments Using Enterprise MDM
Mobile device management (MDM) software can provide remote device management for corporate environments. This provides IT teams the means to manage digital devices that employees use to connect remotely. MDM software can handle both corporate-issued fleet devices and BYOD equipment. Even better, competent MDM software can integrate both device types into the same network so they can interoperate.
With companies expanding while embracing remote work, more devices are entering the business network. Managing corporate fleets and BYOD units has become a formidable task. MDM software removes the need for onsite management of digital devices. Using remote access, IT administrators can connect wirelessly to each connected device to perform registration, maintenance, and monitoring tasks.
The ideal MDM software should include the following features:
A Modular and Flexible System That’s Device Agnostic
Ideally, the MDM software should offer a modular and flexible platform that can accommodate devices running on all major operating systems. This includes Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux, Chrome, and potentially others. The more devices the MDM can accommodate, the better.
Tools to Efficiently Manage Devices
The ultimate MDM software should have all the tools needed to provide full remote services to an entire fleet of devices. This includes the ability to centrally manage apps and settings, as well as perform updates, installations, or upgrades. This also entails managing Over-The-Air (OTA) and firmware updates. It should also be able to monitor devices for compliance to set policies and regulations, especially for handling sensitive data.
Security and Control
The MDM software should feature tools that can help secure both the device and the data contained. It can remotely lock or wipe data in case of breach of user agreements. Or it can set virtual perimeters where the device can safely operate. MDM systems can manage the gathering of user information for each device. It can then collect the data such as web, app, and device usage from each unit for analytical purposes. That way, concerned departments can gather insights that will prove useful for future decisions.
Compatibility with Cloud Service Providers
To procure the widest reach to even remote devices, the MDM software should work well with popular cloud service providers such as Amazon Web Services (AWS). This will allow for a more efficient operation while managing devices, including reduced latency, redundancy, and end-to-end security and encryption of data sent.
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Learn More About Mobile Device Management
Remote work is already institutionalised in many companies and locations. This means that more than ever, mobile devices will begin connecting to corporate networks remotely on a daily basis. For the IT team in charge of device management in corporate environments, remote mobile device management is the obvious choice for maintaining control of the Enterprise IT system. Like the devices it manages, it should operate remotely. In addition, it must be device-agnostic when accepting mobile devices and should offer the latest tools and services that provide effective management of connected devices, whether they’re part of the corporate fleet or BYOD units.