What Is Mobile Device Management? (And Its importance)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published June 10, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

As companies constantly shift towards data and technological advancement, protecting data and devices becomes increasingly necessary. Mobile device management (MDM) is one techniques companies adopt to safeguard work resources from breaches or damages. Learning about mobile device management and its advantages can help you understand the policy at your workplace. In this article, we answer "What is mobile device management?", explain its importance, outline its advantages, describe how it can affect you as an employee, and show its application across different industries.

What is mobile device management?

You may wonder, "What is mobile device management?" This is the process of monitoring, supporting, and securing the use of mobile devices in a workplace. Mobile devices include laptops, tablets, and smartphones, and the focus of this type of management is to monitor applications, configuration settings, and data usage on company devices. By securing and regulating these elements in a mobile device, a company can reduce security risks and associated costs. Companies often use third-party software to implement mobile device management.

This solution represents an important aspect of a company's enterprise mobility management. This refers to the set of processes, technology, and human resources that companies use to control computers, wireless networks, and mobile devices. For instance, while some companies give employees a company device, others require employees to bring their own mobile device. This helps the company to save costs as you can use your personal equipment to access relevant resources.

Why is mobile device management important?

While some companies issue devices to employees, a bring your own device (BYOD) policy might be more reasonable for both you and your employer. Although allowing employees to bring their own mobile devices increases productivity, it may be hard for the company to secure the service. Mobile device management helps companies manage and secure employee devices and prevents malware and virus. It also ensures that the IT department can help employees fix issues, wipe devices in instances of loss, and use company backup to set up new devices.

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Advantages of mobile device management

Some advantages of adopting mobile device management include:

Application management

MDM creates a centralized control system that allows companies to regulate employees' system applications during work. These centralized control processes also help install the applications you require to do your job. For instance, a retail company may offer its sales division different system applications than what the finance team uses.

Data backup

A common feature of the mobile device management system is that it provides a backup of company data and other important company resources. This backup allows you to access information from any device and location. It also makes it easy to retrieve data if you lose or break your device. Backing your devices up to the cloud or a hard drive regularly can also help maintain important data.

Reduced cost

Most companies adopt mobile device management systems as a cost-effective option. Offering company devices to employees may incur more costs, so managing existing mobile devices can reduce these expenses. Mobile device management saves money and focuses on securing your data and information. In addition to saving costs, mobile device management can increase productivity as you can leverage digital resources more easily.

Support for BYOD policies

Mobile device management provides technical support for employees who bring their own devices to work. Implementing the BYOD policy allows for a flexible work environment and increases employee productivity. Under this policy, you can access company resources like e-mails, calendars, contacts, and files. MDM helps companies reduce or eliminate the risks associated with accessing proprietary data from personal devices.

Improved workflows and flexibility

The centralized system that companies create through mobile device management allows for more efficient collaboration in the workplace. Team members in any department can communicate across devices, locations, and time zones through this system. It also provides a seamless workflow, as it helps managers assign tasks and monitor employee progress while giving feedback easily. It also allows different employees to work on the same project simultaneously. This system is crucial for companies that wish to leverage technology to increase efficiency.

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Simplify internal IT demands

Mobile device management is especially important for large companies, as it can help the IT department in managing several employee devices across all departments. Mobile device management centralizes all company devices and gives IT professionals easy access. It also provides tools to help them render faster and more efficient mobile device support. With a mobile device management system in place, IT professionals can collaborate on projects like monitoring devices, safeguarding against breaches, and providing other IT needs.

Different profiles

Advanced mobile device management systems may provide employees with advanced functionality. For instance, a complex MDM can create different profiles on your devices for work and personal projects. This feature is important because, while the MDM may monitor an employee's work profile, it can maintain boundaries and provide you with separate access for personal use.

Ways mobile device management affects employees

Companies using mobile device management may affect employees in the following ways:

Privacy issues

Although a company may allow you to bring your own devices, a clause might give the companies complete access to those devices. This arrangement gives the company full access to your privacy and all the data on the device. Companies can prevent this by issuing work devices that employees can only use for work-related projects.

Alternatively, you can create separate profiles on your device. Creating a personal profile limits the company's access to your device. In addition, ensure you read the data access agreement and the data monitoring policy. You may also discuss reimbursement with your manager for data plans if you use your device for work.

Signing agreement

Before resuming as an employee, ensure you understand the company's mobile device management policies and conditions. This is because it can affect your contractual rights to certain resources. If your company requires you to use company devices, ensure the terms are favourable and clarify any uncertainties with your manager. Alternatively, if the company runs a BYOD policy, ensure that the terms don't violate your privacy.

Work-life balance

Mobile device management may determine your work-life balance depending on the policy for mobile devices. For example, if you use company-issued devices, you can switch them off after work hours. Alternatively, using your device for work may blur the lines between work and personal projects. It's important to read company guidelines to know the kind of applications you can download on company devices. Otherwise, you may use your device for those applications.

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MDM solutions industry use cases

Here are a few examples of how companies may use mobile device management across different industries:

Education

Many schools have adopted a modern tablet-based teaching method. It's important for schools to ensure that students use these devices strictly for learning. They may also implement granular restrictions that allow them to restrict access to certain websites and disable some device functionalities, like Bluetooth or the tablet's camera. Some schools may have administrative staff who rely heavily on devices and technology to perform their functions. Mobile device management ensures easy access to student databases and resources to perform their roles efficiently.

Health care

Mobile device management is important in the health care sector, as most health care organizations adopt electronic health records systems. Health care professionals require devices to access these electronic records and work seamlessly. In addition, as health care regulatory standards mandate that health care organizations ensure the security of personal health information, it's important that they adopt MDM solutions. These solutions help these organizations stay compliant while protecting patient data.

Retail

As retail companies adopt more technological solutions to business operations, it requires mobile devices to ensure efficiency. These companies use mobile devices for self-service checkouts, mobile point-of-sale, and digital signage. It may also gather and store client data as it authorizes payments and processes orders using multiple devices, such as smartphones and tablets. Implementing mobile device management ensures that the company safeguards client data across devices.

Service

The use of mobile devices in the services industry is important because most companies operate a mobile-first or mobile-only workplace. Mobile device management helps employers manage compliant or employee devices while safeguarding the data they contain. It also helps to ensure that employees and their devices adhere to safety and security standards and general company policy.

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Transportation

Mobile device management is important to the transportation industry as it helps transport companies track vehicle locations and estimate delivery times. It also helps them track shipments while maintaining the travel history. This helps employees pin devices to system applications to maximize productivity and reduce device misuse.

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