Mobile Device Management Best Practices

Mobile Device Management is a tricky one to get right for any business. Whether you outsource or look after it yourself, these best practices will help.

Richard Weddle

26/11/2018

Most businesses use a plethora of devices each using different operating systems. Devices need continuous maintenance, often at irregular times that probably don’t suit your diary. Mobile device management (MDM) is one of those things. The good news is that there are ways of automating MDM, in fact the tech has existed for some time however, you need to ensure that you follow best practice.

Audit

Everyone’s least favourite word. However, in the mobile device management world, an audit of your mobile devices will aid you as you start your MDM journey. It’s pointless investing in technology to monitor and keep your devices up to date if you’ve missed half your consultations.

There are plenty of ways to audit your mobile devices. An easy example is starting a spreadsheet and sending out a text to every mobile number you have on file. The text just needs to say something friendly like “do you still use this mobile phone”. When the reply comes in, that’s a tick in the in-use column. If after three goes,you still have no reply, maybe up it to a “we’re going to cut off this device as you haven’t replied” – you’ll find the responses will flood in.

Use the best tech

Once you know what your mobile device estate looks like, you are ready to find a mobile device management solution. Like every technology niche, there are a lot of MDM players to choose from. Make sure you gather your requirements from all your key stakeholders, sanitise them and prioritise them. Whether you run a formal procurement or outsource to a specialist, make sure you are shopping for the solution that is right for you, and not just the one with the most Twitter followers or the best stand at the exhibition.

Watch the training videos

When you have selected an MDM solution, it’s important to know the extent of its features. It’s easy to buy software and turn it on, but if you automate as much as possible you’ll make your life easier long-term plus you’ll get the biggest return on your investment. Time is precious but investing some time up front can save days (or even weeks) of work as your mobile estate expands and matures.

Customise

Even business mobiles¬†offer an incredibly personalised experience but with MDM, you can choose the apps that appear on your users’ screens. This might feel somewhat Orwellian to people accustomed to complete freedom on their mobile phones but it’s important to understand how and why your staff are using their mobiles devices. Sure, it is nice to have Facebook on your mobile, but does it really need to be on your business device? In this same regard, it is nice to have some downtime in between meetings so you may allow for some social media platforms. Discuss with your staff what they need, use and want then decide what the right level of customisation is.

But not too much

The name of the game here is management – too much customisation will lead to an MDM nightmare! When you have the chat with your employees around what apps are used, don’t offer up the world. A list of approved apps is handy to choose from. Without a mechanism to select from, you could end up with a different home screen for each user and become the personal mobile manager for each member of staff.

Getting mobile device management right is tough and selecting the right technology can be a burden. If you need help starting your device audit or populating your approved app list, then get in touch. We help small, medium and large business with their mobile device management everyday. Tell us your MDM queries, we’re Nice.

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