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Expanding Enterprise Mobility Beyond Mobile Device Management (MDM)

Updated: Oct 5, 2022

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While mobile device management is an important component of corporate mobility management, it should not be the primary emphasis of your company.

Consumers may be driving the mobile device industry boom—more powerful smartphones, tablets with bigger screens, tiny laptops with processing power—but enterprise is driving the most change in the mobile sector. Users are demanding on-the-go access to everything, thanks to near-ubiquitous Internet connectivity and a mini-computer in every pocket capable of doing a variety of tasks.

That doesn't just mean allowing users to check their email, make VoIP calls, or use video-conferencing technologies. Customers desire mobile-friendly websites that allow them to shop from their phones. Mobile devices can be used to access a variety of corporate operations, including sales monitoring, remote tech assistance, customer relationship management (CRM), and even payroll. Considering that IDC forecasts 1.5 billion gadgets will be shipped globally this year (Opens in a new window), that's a lot of personal devices to consider.

Enterprises must accommodate these new expectations and devices while remaining consistent with existing standards. Enterprise mobility is no longer simply about the device—which platform, which model, and where it is—but rather a comprehensive strategy that includes the device, apps, data, and users. It's all about putting together a mobility ecosystem that includes cloud services, data security, secure networks, and gadgets that promote collaboration and productivity. And it has to happen throughout the organisation.

Introducing Enterprise Mobility management (EMM)

IT departments are shifting away from mobile device management (MDM) and toward corporate mobility management, which provides a more holistic perspective (EMM). That's not to say MDM isn't significant to research firm Research and Markets (Opens in a new window), it was the largest segment of the enterprise mobility management market in 2014—but other segments like mobile content management (MCM) and mobile application management (MAM) are just as important.

MDM focuses on devices, as the name implies. IT may watch staff devices and enforce regulations including requiring a screenlock when the device is not in use, giving a command to remotely wipe the device if it is lost, and installing required programmes (such as security software). While Android, iOS, and Windows Phone are all expanding their management capabilities, the majority of the current functions are device-specific.

EMM takes it a step further by enabling IT to control apps and content from the same dashboard. This means that policy and configuration rules can be applied not only to devices, but also to the apps that are installed on them. App administration is also important for company IT.

If new mobile apps sound fascinating, people will download and try them out. They aren't usually thinking about the app's security or whether downloading it can harm company data on their device. Malware isn't the most serious mobile threat. Data leaking is a tendency if the programme is badly developed. If the app has very broad permissions, it may eat the entirety of the calendar and address book, exposing company data to the outside world.

Let's take a look at some numbers: Gartner predicts that by 2017, 38 percent of businesses would stop giving smartphones to employees, and nearly half of organisations will require employees to bring their own devices. According to Research and Markets' newest projection, the enterprise mobility management market, which comprises MDM, MCM, and MAM, is predicted to increase from $3.2 million in 2014 to over $15.2 million by 2019.

With EMM, IT can keep track of all apps used by users, regardless of whether they were installed by the user or by the company. IT may also manage operating system configuration, enforce authentication standards, and impose restrictions like prohibiting copy-and-paste on specific apps, monitoring file-sharing, and limiting downloads while roaming. The purpose is to ensure that users have secure access, not to restrict it.

A Mobile-First Approach

The lack of a roadmap is the main mobility barrier for many businesses. The business must understand the problem it is trying to solve, as well as the users, what they are currently using, and how they work. It's even more difficult to choose and deploy the correct toolset if the business doesn't know what its users want or what its partners and customers desire. In addition, there are other options available in the marketplace. To mention a few players in the corporate mobility management market, there's VMware AirWatch, Citrix XenMobile, MobileIron, Good Technology, and Fiberlink's MaaS360 (an IBM business).

Physical security is a major problem, but technology is helping to alleviate this fear. As more devices come equipped with biometric security capabilities like fingerprint readers and iris scanners, businesses may use them to protect their devices from illegal access as well as sign in to services and apps. The ability of mobile operating systems to connect to enterprise mobile management platforms is also improving.

Another major stumbling barrier is privacy. Employees want to be able to use their own devices, but they don't want their personal information monitored by the company's IT department. The majority of mobile device management technologies do not distinguish between work and personal data and apps. If necessary, a remote wipe will erase everything. Employees would be certain that their employers are not scrutinising their personal data if they used an enterprise mobility management platform that can distinguish between business and personal data.

It's easy to prioritise MDM over apps and data, but this makes developing a holistic mobile strategy more difficult. This will assist them understand what they can do with a platform and whether it will help them achieve their objectives. Endpoint management, policy management, identification and authentication, network security, data protection, and application security are all included in EMM. The aspects that the company needs are defined by its particular infrastructure and risk appetite. There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all mobile strategy.

Mobile technology is here to stay, and the sooner businesses incorporate mobile devices into their overall IT strategy, the better. Users will get better productivity as well as improved security.

For all your mobile technology needs, consider working with Merge Communications. The company prides itself on focusing on its customer demands and passionate about supporting clients to run their businesses efficiently and successfully.

Merge Communications is committed to exceeding client expectations in terms of quality, reliability, service, support and satisfaction.

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