Mobile Device Management (MDM) was created to manage those pesky new mobile devices, but the need for MDM quickly grew. Today, organizations need a similar solution to protect their laptops, smartphones, tablets, and even Internet of Things (IoT) devices…

When mobile devices first came on the enterprise scene, they represented a new challenge to network management beyond the ones desktop PCs presented. Device management was straightforward: network management could see all the devices connected to the network and, therefore, it made it relatively easy for network administrators to keep track of all devices and user behaviors. If they needed to change a system setting or add software, the administrator could easily do this at any time. After all, the desktop PCs were not going anywhere — a simple command could do the trick.

But then came the mobile devices. These technologies went home at night with employees, but were not always connected to the network. This caused enterprise IT network administrators a great deal of pain when they had to make updates. Then, BlackBerry became popular in the enterprise, giving employees the ability to take email on-the-go all day long.

Suddenly, MDM became a real challenge. Over the past 10-15 years, software has been developed to address these management challenges to give IT network administrators the control they sorely needed.

Today, numerous MDM software vendors help tens of thousands of customers each manage a wide range of mobile devices — from smartphones to tablets to laptops and everything in-between that connects to a company’s networks.

However, the MDM sector is undergoing a migration. Its focus is shifting from purely device management toward helping enterprises manage all mobility assets, including:

Mobile Device Management (MDM)

  • Centrally manages all mobile devices on the enterprise network
  • Enables verification that the right version of each software solution is on each approved app
  • Provides management with a summary of each device on the network
  • The MDM module assists IT professionals in enrolling, configuring, managing and deleting all mobile devices

Mobile Content Management (MCM)

  • Secure containers set up for email, apps, browsing and content
  • Content can be maintained separately for personal and enterprise information
  • MCM provides a unified view of all secure content, apps, email and browsing

Mobile Application Management (MAM)

  • Management of sourcing or developing an app
  • Applying security policies
  • Deploying an app catalog (“app store”)
  • Analyzing app metrics

Mobile Security Management (MSM)

  • Device and user security
  • Application security
  • Content security
  • Email security
  • Network security

Thus, what started as a small effort to solve an enterprise pain point to handle the growing class of mobile devices has turned into a multi-billion dollar industry. Any organization needs to carefully define its requirements before determining which Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) vendor will best serve those needs.

As enterprise IT executives begin to talk with vendors, they will find that each one has some unique capabilities not found in other systems. Thus, the organization’s requirements may change due to discovering some capabilities that the organization didn’t previously notice. Enterprise IT should narrow down their candidates to a handful of vendors, and then conduct a shoot-out where you invite each company to present to a small group of people in the company; the evaluation team can rate the presentations on how well they meet the organization’s requirements. In addition, the IT department needs to evaluate which company will give them the best support after the sale.

Finally, this may end up being the most important thing that an organization can do: make sure that the organization talks to at least one customer from each finalist supplier. Ask the vendor’s customer how they decided to choose their MDM/EMM supplier and why they selected the vendor they finally chose. This can often provide the organization with insights that it may not previously have been able to discover.

Now, organizations can effectively and efficiently manage their mobile devices along with desktop systems as well. The organization needs to think in terms of EMM to ensure that the mobile and wireless assets in the company will have all aspects of mobile device, content, application, and security effectively managed to as high a standard as it needs.

Contact us to learn more about MDM/EMM and what your organization needs to know.

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AOTMP