The days of tightly controlled smartphones barring anything but only the most essential of business applications are gone. Employees expect to be able to do what they want with their devices and might not use the technology they have been given if they find restrictions. IT departments are often the ones tasked with bringing use under control, often with limited resources and the risk of upsetting colleagues. Find out how you can implement an effective Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) strategy with the right tools and processes.
Many companies are still unaware of the dangers linked to mobile devices that are not under the control of the IT department. And another problem: many have neglected the topic of Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) in recent years, and informal structures have crept into place. Breaking up these structures and switching to a professional EMM system takes a huge amount of effort, and can also be a sensitive change for the employees involved. IT departments lack the resources to some extent, but also don’t want to lose the acceptance of their colleagues.
Let’s assume there were no, or at least hardly any, rules and controls over the use of mobile devices in the company, and staff were accessing emails from their private endpoints. Suddenly a professional EMM solution is introduced and employees have to use company endpoints, where some functions such as the camera are locked for security reasons. This makes these endpoints less interesting for staff, and will probably cause some anxiety. If radical changes are made all at once, very quickly you can find you have alienated staff.
Gaining user acceptance
It is important to follow the topic of EMM and implement it in your own company. To gain the acceptance of employees and to keep it, it is however better to strike a balance beforehand between the company’s security requirements and the user’s requirements. If the company decides that staff can only use company endpoints, one solution is to provide staff with a range of apps checked by the IT department using the EMM solution. This guarantees that the apps meet the security requirements and at the same time, that the user can use their mobile device as they wish. Suitable apps can be installed directly by users with administrative access using EMM, or made available for “self-service” via a kiosk or whitelist.
The classic dilemma: best of breed vs suite
Generally it’s in the interest of an IT department to use an excellent solution for each task. But if a number of different single solutions are used, the disadvantage is that the administrator has to constantly switch between different interfaces while working. This increases complexity while reducing efficiency for everyday tasks. If the EMM solution is integrated in an unified endpoint management suite, the administrator can manage all devices centrally using just the one interface. This is not just easier – it also ensures they have a better overview, so they can manage the entire network efficiently and securely.
Central control and configuration of mobile devices
After enrollment, the administrator can carry out all management tasks such as the exchange configuration centrally through the EMM solution. They configure the settings centrally and then deploy them to all mobile devices remotely. This is particularly helpful if a central IT department is responsible for different sites. Employees don’t have to make endpoints available to the administrator so the settings can be configured manually. Working with just one interface reduces the complexity, saves time, and lowers the possibility of errors in the process for the administrator.
Security is everything
Don’t forget: mobile devices can go astray more easily than a PC. The settings for this situation can be easily made using EMM. The options to consider include automatic locking when the screen is switched off, the option of deleting the assigned profile, including remotely, and not least the issuing of strong passwords. In addition, it must be ensured that the administrator has an overview of the devices at all times and is notified if a user compromises the operating system, for example. For that reason, an EMM solution should offer the option of defining compliance rules which are then checked automatically and regularly on all endpoints.
Is it worth investing in an Enterprise Mobility Management solution?
The bills can often start to mount up for companies if they deploy several single solutions. However it is generally worthwhile if an EMM solution is integrated in unified endpoint management software like baramundi Management Suite. It’s difficult to work out the ROI precisely, as the EMM solution not only saves IT administrators from doing a lot of legwork, but also provides a great deal of extra security. To be able to make any real statements about the ROI, you would have to estimate the damage potentially prevented and include that in the calculation. When making a decision about an EMM solution, companies should focus on whether the software provides the necessary functions, in addition to considerations about managing mobile devices with greater efficiency and simplicity and the increased security offered.
International Sales Manager at baramundi software