Tuesday, 8 August 2017

How to Manage Mobile Devices in an Enterprise

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source: www.pcmag.com
The huge increase in smartphone and tablet adoption, paired with faster mobile connections to the Internet, are giving rise to a trend businesses everywhere are seeing: enterprise mobile devices for employees. As Elizabeth O'Dowd, editor of mobile technology and wireless networks at Solutions Review, says:
What makes an enterprise mobility solution even more important is the value it holds for the future of your enterprise. Computers are only becoming smaller; laptops are considered mobile devices to most of the top solutions, not just smartphones.”
Sooner than you realise, mobile devices in the enterprise will be a necessity as the lifestyle of the workplace begins to change. Ignore this and not only will you have less efficient workers than your competitors, but employees will seek to work other places with more favourable and modern work environments.”

Enterprise Management for Mobile Devices

The mobile rise, in turn, is leading to one of two outcomes: first, enterprises provide their own devices for their employees in what’s called mobile device management, and second, enterprises enact a BYOD (bring your own device) policy in which employees use their own devices with company-owned applications.

Mobile Device Management

The first option for enterprise management, mobile device management (MDM), entails IT personnel to pair employees with enterprise mobile devices. This allows remote tracking and management, which is good if a mobile device is lost or if an employee leaves the company. In such cases, IT can enforce device security and lock everyone out and wipe the data. The company can also configure WiFi access, install and manage applications, and address any problems with the device.
The problem with this option is that employees typically prefer using their own devices and, when using enterprise mobile devices, don’t like the idea of having their phone wiped if a situation in which corporate data is at risk rises. We therefore land on the second option, a BYOD policy.

BYOD Policies

When choosing a BYOD policy, IT departments are turning to a variety of restrictive mobile device management solutions that protects information without impeding on the owner’s personal data. For example, we have mobile application management (MAM) and enterprise mobility management (EMM).

Mobile Application Management

A more targeted solution than MDM, MAM creates a distinction between business and personal by allowing companies to control access to their applications and the content associated with them instead of the actual physical device. In other words, the only thing that IT can access is the application itself and its features. So if the devices is lost or stolen, access to the app can be removed without touching personal data. Another plus, the application can also be remotely updated with new features and security patches if threats arise.

source: Aumcore.com
Under this category, employees may be given access to an array of applications, such as corporate email, sales support, cloud storage, etc. When this is the case, enterprise management can take an extra precaution and limit certain functions, like copy & paste, to prevent employees from sharing sensitive data.

Enterprise Mobility Management

Because EMM can handle large numbers of devices with different operating systems, one of its goals is to get various software management tools under one umbrella. Falling under the BYOD category, it’s a hardware-agnostic option of remotely managing devices that entails remote access to corporate applications, internal websites, etc. In a way, EMM is an all encompassing approach that bridges the gap between MDM and MAM by centrally managing and enforcing corporate security protocols.

Final Thoughts and TL;DR

From schools to enterprises, mobile devices are popping up everywhere. They’ve infiltrated most businesses for one simple reason: they’re versatility. Anyway, here’s what we covered today:
Mobile adoption is leading businesses to choose between enterprise mobile devices and BYOD (bring your own device) policies
Mobile device management, when employees use company devices, entails  remote tracking and management (including remote wiping)
Some BYOD policies are mobile application management (MAM) and enterprise mobility management (EMM)
MAM allows companies to control access to their applications and the content associated with them instead of the actual physical device
EMM bridges the gap between MDM and MAM by centrally managing and enforcing corporate security protocols

Good luck managing your enterprise’s mobile devices!

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