Most everyone understands large organizations must deploy mobile device management (MDM) platforms to effectively and efficiently manage tablet computers throughout an enterprise. Further, most technology professionals appreciate the advantage of connecting an MDM solution with the corporation's Apple volume purchasing program (VPP) account, which enables distributing and installing pre-paid applications. Anyone who's been charged with administering and securing even 10 iPads, however, will likely tell you an MDM platform is required.
Numerous MDM options
Fortunately, numerous MDM platforms exist. Even small businesses can afford the economies included within LabTech's MDM component, which adds further value to the remote management and monitoring tool. Using LabTech's MDM solution, even small firms can obtain such critical mobile device management benefits as:
- SMS, e-mail and QR code enrollment
- ActiveSync configuration enforcement
- VPN configuration
- Wi-Fi enforcement
- LDAP integration
- Inventory management
- Serial number tracking
- Data roaming configuration and enforcement
- Passcode enforcement
- App purchase and installation enforcement
- Encrypted backup enforcement
- Passcode resets
- Geographic device locating services
- Software inventory reporting
- Data usage threshold reporting
Other MDM offerings include Fiberlink Communications' MaaS 360, AirWatch and MobileIron. For less than even ten dollars per device per month, smaller firms can leverage professional MDM systems previously considered affordable only to large enterprise firms.
Budgeted costs versus known risks
Considering the cost of a data breach or the unauthorized distribution of sensitive information, which can occur should a single user misplace or lose an unmanaged mobile device, justifying the expense of an MDM platform to assist securing and administering the organization's equipment becomes simple. Further, the costs of an MDM platform can be planned and included within annual technology budgets.
Besides helping eliminate the installation of time wasting applications, locking down tablet application installation helps ensure business devices are only used for business. Pushing apps from a centralized account shortens the time that must be spent loading apps on each iPad within a firm, too.
Regardless, saving the cost of lost data remains the primary justification for leveraging an MDM solution. Organizations whose users employ iPads and other mobile devices must begin tracking, administering and securing these devices using an effective MDM platform. As BYOD growth continues, it's imperative that small firms supporting a dozen or more tablets properly manage the devices. The deployment of a capable MDM platform to enable tracking, policy enforcement, administration, and remote wiping of lost devices is no longer optional or a luxury, it's a requirement.
Erik Eckel owns and operates two technology companies. As a managing partner with Louisville Geek, he works daily as an IT consultant to assist small businesses in overcoming technology challenges and maximizing IT investments. He is also president of Eckel Media Corp., a communications company specializing in public relations and technical authoring projects.