Choosing the right mobile device management solution for your company!

The Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) phenomenon has been the culprit behind sleepless nights for many an IT department the world over. Ever since its inception, organizations have been threatened by security issues, as well as concerns arising from control and monitor of these devices. The fact that BYOD rates are going to increase exponentially has businesses in a tizzy. What was once an option is now a necessity – Mobile Device Management (MDM) solutions.

MDM solutions have evolved into much more comprehensive refined solutions based on the dynamic needs of businesses that have been reeling from the impact of unprecedented device proliferation. Today an MDM (also increasingly known as/bundled into Enterprise Mobility Management or EMM) solution incorporates not only core functionality such as securing, controlling and managing access and usage on these devices but also caters to additional requirements relating to mobile application management (MAM), mobile content management (MCM) and more.

So what do you need to know before investing in an MDM solution? For starters, do your research. Understand what options vendors have to offer. This information can then be compared with what your requirements as an organization are to form a clearer picture as to which solution is an ideal fit. A good starting point is to decide on the method of delivery best suited for your organization.

There are varied methods of delivery when it comes to MDM solutions. Premises-based solutions include servers that are installed and maintained at your enterprise. A one-time license fee ensures that you own the solution and control the servers. Saas models require you to subscribe to an application which is hosted at a remote location. On the other hand, a managed services model allows organization to outsource the day-to-day operations to subject matter experts for efficiency. Ideally, this question is answered when one figures out the following.

Level of control:
How crucial is it for you to retain control of the server and processes? The answer to this question can begin to reveal the ideal solution for your needs. For instance, complete control can be made possible through on-premises solutions rather than others.

Feature set:
When you decide that you need an MDM solution, you will have a basic idea of the capabilities that you require. Vendors in the current marketplace have a combination of core as well as additional features. Figure out what seems closest to what you need.

Resource strength:
While shopping around for a good solution, also gauge the level of expertise and resources you have at hand. There’s no point in choosing a solution that you cannot implement for lack of resources or know-how. If you need help here, ask ContractIQ. We can introduce you to teams that are implementation partners for MDM product firms.

User expectations:
What are the organization’s expectations when it comes to the MDM solution? What does the end user or the employee expect? What will make the adoption and implementation friction-free?

Device support:
It’s a great idea to decide at the outset what sort of devices your organization would be supporting. Based on this decision, you can narrow down your MDM search to the one that is most apt. Include not only types of devices but also mobile platforms. With Internet-of-Things and wearables becoming more and more of a reality, look at options that can be extended to cover such possibilities in the near future.

Considering that devices and platforms change almost every year, ensuring that the MDM solution you have in mind is versatile and flexible is a definite must have.

Strength in numbers:
Standalone MDM is outdated and for a good reason. Given the rapid pace of development, it is easier and wiser to keep up with a suite rather than singular tools.However if you are a mid-market company with limited use-cases, anything sophisticated may seem like bloatware. Weigh the options in such cases and decide if you can build a bespoke solution before business demands a more robust and off-the-shelf solution.

Vendor-specific questions:
There is also information that you need to delve into when it comes to the vendors themselves. First of all, check for the size of their customer base. Ask around for references from those customers. Secondly, check on the customer service reputation of the vendors. The more responsive and efficient the service, the better. Also take a look at the vendors’ standpoint from a business perspective – how well they’ve been doing, how long they’ve been in existence and their rate of growth.The market is heavily consolidating and it’s good for you to know that you’re vendor is going to be around for a while and even if they get bought, you’d have continuous support.

While the above are just pointers to guide you in a certain direction, you need to devise a thorough checklist with your IT department. The checklist should help you methodically choose the best MDM solution to best suit your specifications. They key is to first have thorough understand of what you seek. The rest will follow.

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