The importance of mobile device management

The importance of mobile device management [Image: gradyreese via iStock]

Mobile Device Management (MDM) is something every enterprise needs to consider. It keeps businesses safe and data secure.

However, it is clearly something that firms with a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy need to focus on more than others. This is because of the risks that come with employees having access to potentially sensitive data on their own devices.

It’s a way of dealing with corporate data segregation, securing emails and corporate documents on a device. It can integrate and manage mobile devices, including laptops, smartphones and tablets.

MDM solutions can be on-premises or cloud-based, the latter growing consistently in popularity.

MDM market

According to a new report by Research and Markets, the MDM market value is estimated to grow from $1.69 billion (£1.35 billion) in 2016 to $5.32 billion by 2021, at a very strong compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 25.8 per cent.

This will be down to “increasing smartphone and tablet penetration, strong adoption of BYOD policies and growing security concerns to protect corporate data,” say the researchers.

The report authors also said that MDM's capability to manage and synchronise different operating system platform devices through a single console has led to an increasing demand for MDM services and solutions.

Factors resulting in a lack of further growth, however, will be a reluctance to implement MDM solutions on the employees' personal phones due to privacy constraints and low adoption of MDM solutions by Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) because of budgetary constraints.

These are concerns that should be worked around, though. The importance of MDM to businesses cannot be overstated.

Costs

If SMEs cannot afford to invest in MDM solutions, they should look into amending their budgets. There are times when the cost of MDM could be offset by the savings made by introducing a BYOD policy.

The alternatives can cost significantly more than MDM. The resulting damage to a brand after a hack or lost data can cost into the millions of pounds in lost sales – even for small companies. Their reputations will be damaged too, which will have a long-lasting effect on the firm’s finances.

Earlier this year it was reported that TalkTalk, the broadband provider, lost 101,000  customers and more than £60 million after falling victim to a data hack. This is a huge number of customers who will not be returning to the company, which will in turn lead to a further loss of revenue and profit.

If a business claims it cannot afford to implement MDM, they should think long and hard about the consequences of not doing so.

BYOD

There are risks to implementing a BYOD policy across a firm, as there are with all computing solutions. These are largely related to the fact that employees will have company data on their personal devices.

If a worker loses their phone, there is the risk of others intercepting that data and using it to access information they shouldn’t. It makes hacking more of a threat.

To avoid putting themselves at greater risk of a data leak or hack, MDM should be implemented across the board. Employees should be made aware of the security threats that abound in order to encourage them to accept these solutions.

MDM solutions should support all operating systems, particularly those most used by enterprises, such as iOS, Android, BlackBerry and Samsung KNOX platforms. MDM should also provide central management, easy integration with enterprise systems and should proactively secure mobile devices.

Arrow can provide these affordable MDM solutions that work for all business types.