Mobile Device Management (MDM) – Challenges and Solutions

What is Mobile Device Management?

Mobile Device Management (MDM) software secures monitors, manages and supports mobile devices deployed across mobile operators, service providers and enterprises. MDM functionality typically includes over-the-air distribution of applications, data and configuration settings for all types of mobile devices, including mobile phones, smartphones, tablets, mobile printers, mobile POS devices, etc. This applies to both company-owned and employee-owned (BYOD) devices across the enterprise or mobile devices owned by consumers.



By controlling and protecting the data and configuration settings for all mobile devices in the network, MDM can reduce support costs and business risks. The intent of MDM is to optimize the functionality and security of a mobile communications network while minimizing cost and downtime.

Why the sudden demand for managing mobile devices?

The popularity in usage of personal smartphones and tablets has created a strong demand to use personal devices at work. Employees feel more comfortable in using their own personal devices for work and are willing to bear the cost of liability, maintenance and upgrades. Employee morale boost and cost savings to the employer are the major attractive factors to opt for the employee-liable approach to use their personal devices at workplace. Also, the obvious networking advantages offered to C-level executives, managers and top management directors for extending the business growth and exploring profitable avenues while on the move presents a compelling case to use mobile devices at workplace or during travel.

However, risks associated with these devices such as sensitive corporate data going into wrong hands and dangers of facing litigation suits due to intentional/unintentional data breach or data losses suffered due to lost/misplaced device makes a ready case for managing the mobile devices. There are also legal and HR related issues that need to be ironed out if there is a case of adopting “employee-liable ownership” approach for the accountability of the devices.



An organization will still be responsible to maintain security for these mobile devices as per the SOX, HIPAA etc. federal mandates, but since the devices are not owned by the organization, securing the device and the data becomes a tricky issue here as organization may or may not own the mobile device in question at the first place. Thus enforcing accountability becomes tricky in such cases. Using Mobile Device Management (MDM) solutions, organizations can partially own these devices by enforcing corporate policies and procedures to them. Hence the importance of investing in MDM solution makes sense in these situations.

For a more comprehensive discussion on MDM, please visit our detailed article here: “Guidelines for selecting the right MDM vendor for your business”


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