Managing Devices from Anywhere: Secret to IT Productivity

  • May 18, 2023

Experts at MIT, Stanford and Harvard have long debated and researched the term from the 70s-80s—Solow Paradox, aka Productivity Paradox. They still do and introduce hypotheses that span a decade, sometimes two. The productivity paradox has an inherent information technology (IT) element and often proposes that technology might improve productivity, but it does not. 

IT teams worldwide will agree that mobile device management (MDM) isn’t a productivity paradox by any means—not even debatable, some may say! Experts from premier institutes still have a strong case, but we are here to defend MDM against the productivity paradox. 

MDM for IT Productivity

This blog will prove that mobile device management for IT teams isn’t a productivity paradox by any stretch of the imagination. Instead, it’s a shot in the IT productivity arm. 

With a huge spread of MDM features, we will present a few which help IT admins manage devices from anywhere. They shall suffice in our defense. You, the readers, are the jury for this case. 

Life of an IT Admin Before MDM

Before we begin our defense, let’s first imagine a world for IT teams without MDM. A world where everything, from device or endpoint configuration to troubleshooting, is a manual process. Add remote and hybrid work models and the wily threat actors in the mix. 

Tough world, isn’t it? 

Let’s head back to times in that world without MDM. IT teams inside server rooms managing devices (mostly desktops) with the same operating systems within set office perimeters were happy to go to each desk if a ticket was raised via intranet or verbally. Then, an IT pro would take over the system and do the needful. New employees were assigned preconfigured desktops to work on. 

LAN was the only connectivity medium for desktops. Laptops were a thing reserved for the C-suite, and they were bulky. Basic network firewalls and antivirus software were enough. Employees logged in and out at fixed times using work email IDs that were useless outside the office. Some (not all) of them had mobile phones (ehh.. dumb phones) used only for calls or SMS. Forget screenshots; employees couldn’t even take selfies with colleagues on special occasions. A shrink was recommended if someone said, ‘I’ll work from home’.

All of this sounds pretty archaic, doesn’t it? IT productivity before the arrival of MDM solutions was only about manual speed and experience or skill sets. The following were major challenges, too, even in archaic, manual IT days:

  • Managing device configuration
  • Managing device security and system updates
  • Monitoring device performance and troubleshooting

Enough of dwelling in the past. Time to look at the present power of IT with MDM.

Why MDM is the Elixir for IT Productivity

Modern workplaces are not even the bleakest shadow of what we just revisited above. While many SaaS solutions revolve around making IT lives’ easier, an MDM solution is the ultimate elixir—a truly divine tech intervention for IT productivity. The ingrained ability of an MDM solution to let IT teams manage devices from anywhere is the prime essence of this elixir. We’ll go one bite of the IT productivity cherry at a time. And there’s no paradox whatsoever. 

The remote and hybrid work concept has sidelined the office perimeter environment for devices. Some organizations have even gone 100% remote after the pandemic. Still, organizations back in full swing from the office need flexibility in IT management. It’s an apparent misconception that an MDM solution best serves remote or hybrid businesses. MDM is about managing and securing devices from anywhere, which doesn’t confine only to the employee location. For a geographically distributed workplace, even in 100% work-from-office scenarios, the IT department needs remote device management solutions. 

Managing and securing devices remotely is the simplest definition, rather, the DNA of MDM. So, remember that we won’t overuse the word ‘remotely’. Consider it a given. 

Here are some MDM features among plenty that drive IT productivity, irrespective of where the employees and IT teams are located. 

Enrollment & Configuration

A Tokyo-based employee who loves his new Android tablet joins an Apple-loyal Sydney-based team of an organization headquartered in London with its Windows-only IT team in Silicon Valley. Welcome to the ‘anywhere, any device’ workplace! 

How long will it take for a Tokyo person to start work? With an MDM solution at the disposal of the IT team, the answer is “no time at all”. An IT admin with access to an MDM dashboard can quickly enroll a new device (or hundreds of them) and add it to a particular device profile that holds all the required BYOD configurations and policies of the organization. That’s it! 

And this is just one BYOD use case. The process remains as breezy for corporate-owned devices too. But beware! MDM or IT can’t do much about the time the particular corporate-owned device takes to reach a remote employee (pun intended). 

Read our blog on zero-touch enrollment for deeper insights. 

Patch Management

The case against the productivity paradox is getting stronger here. Security is no paradox because it isn’t subjective. Of course, cyberattacks have been around for almost as long as the internet has been. And make no mistake, MDM isn’t an out-and-out security management software. Yet, it provides an added safety layer for devices to keep them from falling prey to cyberattacks.

We’ll roll back to IT managing devices from anywhere scheme of things. It’s no longer feasible for IT to patch devices manually in modern, distributed work environments. The ability to patch vulnerabilities remotely on time goes a long way in securing devices and endpoints. And MDM allows IT admins to do so. Hence, automating patch management of operating systems and third-party apps is a major productivity enhancer for IT admins. Any objections? Overwhelmingly overruled! 

Know more about how IT admins can rope in MDM software to implement the best patch process management practices.

Performance Monitoring & Troubleshooting

We are calling upon our last productivity booster proof. MDM software lets IT teams have a bird’s eye view—nope—too archaic—a drone view of enrolled devices. All the device specs, vitals, and metrics are monitored from a unified console. Is someone running lower than the specified storage or battery limits? No sweat! Is a device offline longer than expected? No sweat! An MDM solution offers many device monitoring and reporting options for IT admins. A big missing piece of the productivity puzzle checked!

Last, the elephant in most IT rooms—device troubleshooting. With an MDM solution, IT admins don’t have to be at the device location to resolve issues. They can simply summon the remote troubleshooting feature and access the device for troubleshooting. Are you wondering about time zone differences and user availability? MDM has your back! IT admins can troubleshoot devices without any user intervention. Just the device must be switched on with internet access. 

Isn’t this the prime feature testimony to prove that MDM improves IT productivity? Alright, read in-depth how Scalefusion and ITSM integration can drive home the remote advantage.  

Closing Statements

We have presented enough practical evidence in the form of some nailer features, pressing the case of MDM as an IT productivity booster, not a productivity paradox. In closing, just to reiterate, the secret to boosting IT productivity is the ability to manage devices from anywhere. It’s now for our honorable jury (the readers) to decide. We have a feeling we have done enough to convince you. 

Scalefusion MDM rests its case with a 14-day free trial

Thousands of businesses rely upon Scalefusion for managing their mobile device, desktops, laptops and other endpoints

Abhinandan is a Senior Content Editor at Scalefusion who is an enthusiast of all things tech and loves culinary and musical expeditions. With more than a decade of experience, he believes in delivering consummate, insightful content to readers.  
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