As a business owner, you have many responsibilities and activities that you have to deal with on a daily basis.  One of these tasks is overseeing the management of your IT Infrastructure.  You may already have an administrator doing these day to day functions, but you want to make sure that you know what is happening . . . after all, it is your brand and reputation that are stake.

This also includes the management of all of the wireless devices that your employees are using, whether they are on the road or working remotely.  However, monitoring each and every device can be a very time-consuming process; therefore, this role needs to be centralized.  This is where “Mobile Device Management”, (“MDM”) comes into play.

You may be asking at this point, what is MDM, and how will it benefit my business?

Mobile Device Management can be defined specifically as follows:

“It is a tool that allows IT Administrators to centrally control, secure, and enforce policies on smartphones, tablets, notebooks, laptops, etc. and other wireless endpoints.”

(SOURCE:  www.searchmobilecomuting.techtarget.com).

The tool that is mentioned in the definition is actually a software package.  It consists of an MDM server, and an MDM agent.  The server component resides on the actual, main server that you use to conduct your day to day business operations from.  The MDM agent is a mobile app that is stored on the wireless devices that your employees possess.

All configurations, changes, etc. are done through a specialized console in the MDM server, and from there, with a few clicks of the mouse, these are then pushed out to all of the MDM agents.  They in turn then automatically update all of the wireless devices.  As you can see, the main advantage here is that of time savings, as everything is now centralized and can be done literally in just a matter of a few minutes.

The communications that takes place between the MDM Server and the MDM agent is done through an Application Protocol Interface (“API”). This is integrated into the operating system (“OS”) of each wireless device.  So, for example, the iOS that is on an iPhone and the Android OS that is on a Samsung will have their own API installed onto them.

The benefits that an MDM package can bring to your business are numerous, and include the following:

  1. Device enrollment:
    As you hire a new employee, you do not have to physically access their device in order to enroll it into your network.  This task can be accomplished via the “Over the Air” (“OTA”) functionality.  You can also quickly create customized user profiles for each of your employees.
  2. Auditing capabilities:
    You can obtain real time information on a particular wireless device from anywhere you are at.  This is very useful in making sure that your employees are abiding by the Security policies you have set forth.  This functionality is very advantageous when it comes to password enforcement.
  3. Device inventory and tracking:
    You no longer have to keep a running list of all of your wireless devices on a spreadsheet, you can do all of this in the MDM Server.
  4. Monitoring functionalities:
    You can monitor and keep track of all of the daily activities that takes place on a wireless device from the date that it was first issued to the date when you retire it.
  5. Remote wipe capability:
    In case your employee loses their wireless device or in the event that it is stolen, you can quickly issue a “Remote Wipe” command. This will automatically erase all of the confidential information and data that reside on it.

Making use of an MDM software package for your business not only saves you time and money, but it also adds an extra layer of defense in your Security arsenal.