12 MDM Questions Enterprises Should Ask

Need a mobile device management solution to secure your network and data against threats from the many devices accessing your systems? Here's a quick guide to the most common features.
Deployment Options
Integration With Existing Infrastructure
Multi-Platform Support
Centralized Management And Monitoring
Bulk Device/User Enrollment
Over-The-Air Control
Device Resource Restrictions
Device Sharing
Multi-Functional End-User Portal
Compliance Management Policies
Security Management

Mobility plays a significant role in enterprises, with both positive and negative effects for employees, for the IT departments that have to manage all these devices, and for the CIOs who are tasked with making policies for the company.

Mobility enhances productivity and business continuity, but it also puts pressure on operations to manage all of those external devices that carry critical business information. Due to a wide range of available platforms, functionalities, and usage habits, it can become extremely difficult for organizations to manage all of those devices.

What has continued to complicate the mobile enterprise is the sheer number of devices that IT has to manage, thanks to BYOD, where Apple's iPhone dominates as the preferred smartphone of employees and the admins who have to keep track of them.

However, there are other mobile operating systems -- including Android, Windows, and BlackBerry -- to consider as part of any BYOD program, as well.

To handle such issues, many organizations are investing in mobile device management (MDM) tools. These tools offer many features to manage an enterprise mobile fleet. MDM tools help secure devices and their contents to ensure enterprise compliance while respecting users' privacy.

Complicating matters is figuring out how best to manage not only the devices, but also the data that is stored on the gadgets. Many IT departments must decide whether data can live on smartphones or tablets, or whether it's better to control everything through the cloud, a situation that creates its own series of issues.

In the MDM marketplace, many vendors are offering effective and feature-loaded solutions, and it's essential to select the one that best suits your business needs.

To help you decide, InformationWeek looked at 12 specific aspects of MDM tools that IT, CIOs, and even employees who use mobile devices and access company data on those devices should consider when thinking about or creating a mobile plan for business.

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