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Sean McGrath
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5 Tips To Find The Right MDM Product

Find out how to choose the best Mobile Device Management (MDM) product to balance security and privacy needs.

Dominic Schmidt-Rieche will be discussing Securing the New World of Smart, Interconnected Devices at Interop London in June. Join him to explore practical examples of IoT in the enterprise, and how organizations are balancing enablement with privacy and security

Interop London will take place June 16 - 18 at ExCeL London.

Find out more and register here.

Interop London

Today, mobile accounts for just 5 percent of the average business's IT spend, but by 2020 it's predicted to reach 10-12 percent.

As a result, the enterprise mobility industry will be worth a whopping $140 billion, according to a report from the National Association of Software and Services Companies.

Mobile technologies open countless new doors for innovative companies, but the shift towards ultimate portability also presents various challenges. Security is a prime example.

One option is to implement a robust Mobile Device Management (MDM) solution to balance security with privacy. But settling on the right one is easier said than done.

Here are five things you should have in mind when looking for your ideal solution.

1. Device Support And Business Needs

A BYOD or CYOD strategy should begin with a list of business requirements. Are you looking for an on-premises or cloud-based product? Do you need high-level device control, such as disabling native features, or more granular controls, such as being able to compartmentalize corporate data?

Once you're clear on what you want to achieve, you have to know exactly which types of devices your workforce uses. The policies required for a smartphone will be completely different to that of a laptop.

Gartner predicts that 70 percent of mobile professionals will conduct their work on personal smart devices by 2018. Thus, your strategy should be flexible enough to account for new devices that employees will bring into the workplace.

2. Trial Period

Your MDM product is an investment, and it's one you'll want to get right, so look for systems you can try without obligation. It's reasonable to expect a 30-day trial, which gives you time to test the technical implementation and administrator interface. Use the trial period as a pilot test that includes a cross-section of users and devices.

3. Real-Time Dashboards

All MDM products offer a dashboard that lets you see exactly what's going on across your mobile fleet, but not all are created equal. This is one of the reasons it is imperative to test the solution. Expect interactive and intuitive interfaces that provide real-time insight and give visibility into all corporate-owned, employee-owned, and shared devices.

4. Security Vs Privacy

According to a 2012 survey from Symantec, the average annual cost to enterprises of mobile incidents is $429,000. If your business is going to embrace the mobile revolution, your MDM platform needs to have robust security features.

At the same time, many BYOD schemes fail because users are simply not prepared to have their personal devices invaded by the IT department, so it is essential to strike the right balance. Look for products that can separate corporate and personal data.

5. Reporting

Reporting compliments real-time dashboards by providing a longer-term view of an MDM program. Reports can show trends, identify persistent issues, demonstrate progress, highlight areas for optimization, and chart milestones.

This information is useful both for managers and administrators, and it can also be shared with executives and to build a case for the ROI of an MDM investment.

There's no one-size-fits-all MDM solution. It's up to you to find a product that aligns with your organization's needs. Get it right and you're ready to capitalize on the myriad opportunities that mobile technologies provide.

Interop London logo (small)To hear from Dominic Schmidt-Rieche and learn more about securing the new world of smart, interconnected devices, please join us at Interop London this June. Find out more here.

Sean McGrath is a freelance IT writer, researcher, and journalist. He has written for PC Pro, the BBC, and TechWeekEurope, and has produced content for a range of private organizations. Although he holds a first class degree in investigative journalism, his dreams of being a ... View Full Bio

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