Besides its aesthetic appeal, Apple’s iPad serves as a powerful business tool. Numerous businesses risk missing out if they fail to consider the deployment of iPads for business purposes and the benefits they can provide with new business-focused apps released every week. Businesses can deploy iPads among their workforces to enhance their productivity and empower them to execute their day-to-day tasks with more flexibility.
However, iPads can pose numerous challenges to businesses when used in an office setting such as the deployment of iPads among employees for specific business purposes, or even as unattended kiosks. Among those challenges include the misuse of deployed iPads such as playing games, listening to music, or even overhead expenses caused by data overages due to social browsing and surfing by the employees; however, several challenges are highly abstract in nature such as the risk of data leakage or compromisation if the devices are lost or stolen and have fallen into the wrong hands of malicious actors.
Considering the right choice of software for iPad management by business is essential to ensure that it can secure and push a comprehensive set of predetermined corporate policies in the iPads devices fleet, no matter if that is deployed by an organization or is supported by a motion such as Bring-your-own-devices (BYOD) policy.
Here’s what’s good. Regardless of your knowledge of all the possible security risks encompassing the mobility infrastructure of your business, you can still implement a holistic iOS Mobile Device Management software that will eliminate each one of them as well as allow you to manage, monitor, and secure the iPad device’s fleet under a single dashboard. Management software such as an MDM solution for iPads plays an important role in this regard.
The evaluation and selection of the right iPad management software aren’t as straightforward as you might think. However, you don’t need to worry! One simple factor can help you make the right decision: There is no one perfect solution that works for everyone; you need to take your individual needs into account when looking for the right solution.
iPad management software: Important factors to consider
In this article, we have listed down the most cited and common iPad management solution consideration factors by numerous organizations when it comes to selecting a reliable Apple MDM solution. Consider these points as you take into account your individual business challenges to find the right starting point before making a final judgment and investment.
1. Define the ownership of iPad devices: company-owned or employee-owned?
While considering the right software choice to manage iPad devices for your business, it is important to first define the ownership model of iPad devices – whether it is owned by the company and is deployed among employees for specific business purposes or is it owned by the employees and are being used under the Bring-your-own-devices (BYOD) policy.
Taking into account these two distinctive use-cases for evaluation, the iPad management software chosen for consideration should cater to provide different features to suit each scenario for businesses.
If you intend to deploy company-owned iPad devices into consumer-facing dedicated-purpose kiosks, choosing a software provider who has experience with iPad kiosk lockdown is essential. In addition to its scalability and flexibility, an enterprise-owned iPad device management platform should have the ability to enhance the level of device security deployed.
However, the iPad management software options available for businesses that leverage Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies are relatively limited due to the tailored demands for controlling granular settings according to business needs. It is imperative for organizations to reinforce controls when it comes to employee-owned devices with regard to application use, data storage, and communication surveillance. Consider the features that you will specifically require in a BYOD solution, and compare them with the functionality provided by all the software providers available in the market.
2. Where does your focus lie within the iPad device lifecycle?
Every stage in the iPad device lifecycle for business corresponds to a unique use-case for iPad management software and so are their features and capabilities. The majority of iPad management vendors offer tools and features that address different phases of the iPad device lifecycle process, but most of them fail to address the underlying processes required to manage a diverse IT infrastructure. This consequently results in inefficient operations, duplication of information, and demand for multiple hardware and software platforms, as well as integration projects that require significant resources.
When you consider your iPad management needs through the lens of device lifecycle management, you will be able to identify the most crucial features required for your company. Saving time and money, in the end, can only be accomplished by planning for the entire device’s lifecycle instead of identifying features required and investing in different tools and processes.
3. Do you need to manage mobile devices supporting different operating systems?
Mobile Device Management (MDM) solutions can handle almost all of your end-users device’s fleet functionality, monitoring, and management needs, covering a wide range of devices and OS such as Android, iOS, Windows as well as macOS, that won’t leave a big hole in your capital costs.
However, managing only iPad devices is considerably different from managing a combination of iPads and other endpoints such as laptops and computers operating in different OS. A feature like Android Remote Control would only be useful in certain use-cases of your business if you have a deployment of Android kiosks for specific business purposes, for example. There are of course numerous ways to manage iPads and other devices supporting distinctive OS with separate customized management software and tools, but this will become very complex for IT administrators very quickly. Most IT administrators appreciate being able to manage every type of device supporting diversified OS with a single and holistic hub.
It’s a good idea to ask yourself if you might purchase and deploy an Android tablet or another device supporting different OS in the future specific for mission-centric business purposes, regardless of whether you use one now apart from iPad devices. In the future, you may benefit from taking advantage of a management tool that supports other types of devices.
4. Will you require extensive support from your iPad management vendor?
While considering the best choice of software for iPad management, most organizations consider the level of support and after-sales services being offered by the vendor. The management of iPads for businesses can be complicated and without the proper intervention of subject-matter experts from the vendor’s end, these concerns might not get automatically resolved. Even the best administrators need support from time to time in order to manage the device’s fleet smoothly.
There are two principal types of support you can consider here: day-to-day technical support from MDM vendors, and support from managed mobility services providers.
Depending on client needs and requirements, many MDM vendors offer their product partners day-to-day technical support. These vendors offer a variety of support levels based on the type of devices your business will decide to manage. The evaluation of MDM vendors with good customer service is more likely to be able to help you with your day-to-day queries and mobility infrastructure concerns.
However, managed mobility service providers offer more than just delivering technical expertise to businesses to implement a successful mobility transition. Customer needs are well understood by the MSPs, and there are well-defined channels for communicating with them to resolve their queries, managing their expectations, and handling disappointing situations. You can access iPad experts well-versed in the management software that you might use by calling a managed services provider, despite their potential cost on the other hand.
Hence, it is vital that you conduct thorough research and find out which providers have satisfactory customer support and services based on user reviews.
In closing lines…
For those who are considering an iPad management solution, it is important to understand both the pros and cons of the product before deciding whether it will serve the organization best. When approaching the decision on the right iPad management solution, companies should ideally keep an eye out for the factors that separate them from competitors. Differentiating factors can include cost, features, or support, and service.
Specific requirements while evaluating the right iPad management software for your business will differ significantly depending on whether you own the iPad devices or your employees do, how your requirements are aligned with the device lifecycle and its phases, whether you need a mobility solution that supports OS beyond iOS, and whether you need extensive support of subject-matter expert from your vendor.
There will obviously come a time when you need to choose an iPad management vendor post completing the planning phase. Numerous vendors in the market offer a trial period and Proof-of-concept (POC) offerings for businesses to evaluate their needs and make a smooth decision.
In the case where you aren’t sure which iPad management software fits your needs, scaling an integrated MDM solution, like Scalefusion MDM, is a good start for you.
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