4 questions you should ask before diving into MDM

4 questions you should ask before diving into MDMOver the last decade, the rise of the mobile device has had a dramatic impact on the way we live our daily lives. It seems like just yesterday that tablets and smartphones were a novel idea; now, they’re everywhere and a part of our daily routine. Consider these statistics, from Forrester’s latest “Mobile, Smartphone, And Tablet Forecast” – as of 2009, only 4.4% of the world’s population identified as smartphone subscribers. In 2018, that same figure was 55%, and by 2023, it’s expected to be 66%. That’s right – two-thirds of the entire planet will be connected by hand-held devices.

It’s only natural to expect, as mobile devices take over our personal lives, that they’ll have a dramatic impact on workplace modernization as well. People aren’t just checking their phones at home and in social settings – they’re doing it at work, constantly, every day. So, shouldn’t your organization have a set of IT policies in place to manage all that activity?

That’s exactly the idea behind Mobile Device Management (MDM) – a unified approach to managing and securing all your employees’ mobile device use while also centrally managing the laptops and desktops you assign to them. If you have a rock-solid MDM framework in place, there are many benefits to be had – an improved employee experience, greater productivity, easier IT service delivery, and ultimately a happier workforce with a better perception of IT.

When you hear all of that, it sounds like a slam dunk. Adopt MDM right away! But it’s important to note that before you dive in, there are a few questions you need to ask yourself. Pondering these issues and figuring out all the details in advance will make your eventual MDM implementation much smoother once you go through with it. Here’s the list:

  1. What kinds of devices are you managing? To know the scope of your MDM undertaking, you have to first know what types of devices your users expect you to support. Is it just laptops, or is it smartphones and tablets too? Are your employees loyal to Apple, Surface, or Samsung devices, or is there a mix? Once you know what you’re managing, you can design a framework.
  2. How complex will your MDM system be? The more different types of devices, manufacturers, and operating systems you’ve got in your mix, the more complexity you’ll need in your MDM solution. If you’re just dealing with Windows users, you might get away with implementing Intune, but if you’ve got a more diverse ecosystem, you may need to craft something more robust.
  3. What features are the most essential? Like snowflakes, no two companies are alike when it comes to MDM needs, and no companies will have the same necessary features. Spiceworks has noted that most companies need over-the-air configuration, geolocation, and remote data wiping; other features, like app store restrictions, are nice but not necessarily required. What’s most important for supporting your user community?
  4. Are your mobile needs subject to change? You might have a good handle on what sort of mobile device support your users need today, but those needs are bound to evolve along with the technology they rely on. Are your employees likely to expect support for new devices or operating systems next year? Are you considering adding more users? Are you worried about future security threats? Don’t just implement MDM for today – keep your long-term vision in mind as well.

All told, these questions are a lot for any one IT team to handle. If you’re looking for a little help breaking it all down, Zones is here for you. We have a holistic way of helping our clients implement MDM – we have relationships with all of the leading device manufacturers (with a strong focus on Microsoft, WMware, and Jamf), and we’re happy to tailor whatever solution will best fit your needs. Our goal is to make device management easy, freeing you up to focus on other challenges like growing your business.

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