For those who work in organizations, regardless of size, you know how
much effort is involved with coordinating a group’s technology. It can
take quite some time to set up a new Mac, iPad, or iPhone with all the
right apps, settings, and logins. And that’s just to get started—on an
everyday basis, maintaining solid security practices is essential, and
support requests are inevitable.
The solution to all this is MDM, or mobile device management, which is a
way of centrally administering computers, tablets, and smartphones to
simplify setup and ensure peace of mind for both employers and
employees. Apple strongly encourages the use of MDM; the company
continually enhances the core capabilities that MDM systems expose for
IT administrators. If the benefits we outline here interest you, contact
us to talk about your needs.
Benefits to the Organization
MDM is a big win for organizations, including businesses, non-profits,
schools, government agencies, and more. It’s just too hard—and too
insecure—to deal with every device individually. With MDM,
organizations benefit in the following ways.
- Quick, consistent setup: With MDM,
organizations can create profiles—collections of settings and
account information—and install them automatically as part of a
deployment strategy. In the best case, users have to do little more
than power on the device and sign in; it automatically checks with
the MDM server and downloads the necessary information. MDM
solutions also let organizations install and configure approved sets
of apps to ensure that every employee has the tools they need at
- Improved security: A great deal of digital
security comes down to policies: requiring a strong passcode,
ensuring secure settings for things like screensavers, requiring
that backups be encrypted, and more. All these options are easily
set and enforced by MDM profiles. Plus, MDM can separate personal
and business accounts and data and even ensure encryption of
on-device data. And perhaps most important, MDM enables remote
locating, locking, and wiping of lost devices.
- Lower costs: Although MDM solutions usually
come with a monthly cost, research shows that organizations save
money overall in two main ways. Initially, MDM reduces setup costs
by replacing an hour or two of hands-on effort with remotely pushed
deployment. Over time, the consistency of setup and app availability
dramatically reduces ongoing support costs.
- Asset tracking: An MDM solution enables
information-rich asset tracking, making it easy for an organization
to see exactly what devices it owns, which employees have them, and
where they’re located. Such a system enables more efficient use of
existing resources and easier lifecycle management.
Benefits to the User
Although it might seem as though MDM is primarily aimed at helping and
protecting the organization, individual users benefit as well.
- Personal/work separation: MDM makes it
possible to separate personal and work accounts and data, which can
eliminate the need to carry both personal and work phones at all
times. In some cases, MDM can also make it so employees can securely
use their own devices—which might be newer or more powerful—with
organizational data and accounts.
- Faster, easier setup: Most people don’t
look forward to setting up and configuring devices, particularly
when typing in usernames and passwords for numerous accounts. MDM
does much of that, so employees can focus on their actual jobs.
- Peace of mind: With the security policies
enforced by MDM, users can have confidence that they haven’t
inadvertently done anything to expose confidential data. Plus,
mistakes happen, and devices are lost or stolen. An MDM solution
might be able to locate a lost device, and if not, it can ensure
that the device is both worthless and unable to reveal anything
As helpful as MDM is once your organization is using it, we won’t
pretend that choosing and setting up an MDM solution is trivial. Unless
you have significant IT staff and resources, it makes sense to work with
people who already have considerable MDM experience. We do, and we’d be
happy to discuss a custom approach that fits your needs.