Perspectives Around an Ideal Mobile Device Management Solution

  • August 30, 2019
Ideal MDM Solution
Perspectives around an Ideal MDM Solution

So, are you one of the COOs/CSOs who have been tasked with finding the right MDM solution for your enterprise? I am sure you can relate with this blog!

Let me start by sharing a water-cooler (read: smoke breaks) discussion we keep having at Scalefusion, “You can disable the camera, prevent screenshot, disable email forwarding, but not the human intentions. What if the employees choose to take a picture from another camera or write down the email contents?” This is the question that often starts a series of thoughts and more questions, some of which have been presented here.

Is MDM a roadblock or a smooth journey?

So, what role does the MDM play? Is it the proverbial Carrot or the Stick? For corporate-owned devices the choice has been simple, it is mostly the Stick. However, when the same approach is extended for employee-owned devices it is bound to have some unwanted implications on the adoption of the BYOD strategy.

One of the clear and present issues has been the proliferation and the rising risks of shadow IT – a sheer result of non-adoption of a strategic BYOD policy supported by an equally powerful MDM solution. But when it comes to picking a top MDM/UEM player and looking at the online customer ratings of their Agent applications – it disappoints to see the least encouraging reviews! I mean, even my college grades were better than their ratings! This also indicates that the employees who tried to use them are not feeling productive at all, using them.

What should be the focus of your MDM solution? What should you expect as a customer?

Companies often find themselves wondering about what to prefer more with a better focus – wide adoption of Mobile Device Management as a solution or the positive impact of MDM solution on overall productivity?

But the fact is that both these objectives should go hand-in-hand when a company selects to work with an MDM solution provider.

Now, let that thought hang in there for a bit, so I can pay heed to another!

The world of enterprise mobility and device management is changing drastically, introducing new necessities, challenges, enterprise needs and user requirements. These are explained by newly coined terminologies like Fully Managed, Corporate Owned, Employee Owned, Corporate Owned Personally Enabled, User Enrollment and so on. Now the question is, how does your IT team react to these jargons? And how fast does your MDM provider understand and implement them in their solution?

In a perfect situation, your MDM solution provider should not only be capable in analyzing the implications of these new versions and additional features, but also in making efforts to educate and train your IT team about the new and updated versions of the MDM software so they can make sense of it all.

Also, it is vital for your IT team to understand the applicability and impact of these new software versions and feature updates on the existing device management processes, functions, operations and workflows. Here as well your MDM provider should be able to tackle this situation, clearing all doubts and answering all queries through a strong customer support team.

Another question that popped up in my head is – should customers look for bundled or an unbundled solution or something customized when it comes to choosing an MDM provider? Many a times, a company (also a prospective customer) doesn’t require all the features that the MDM comes bundled with – or maybe it requires just a few features out of that entire plan including multiple features. Don’t you think the MDM solution provider should allow the customer to pick and choose the necessary features (with a flexible and transparent pricing plan) – apart from the option of selecting the entire feature bundle? It definitely should offer that flexibility!

Let’s squeeze in one more thought here, of cloud-based apps. Now these are nothing new but in fact have become more prevalent today as each organization is using a wide variety of cloud-based apps. Take my example for instance – I access my Email, Confluence, Service Desk, Intercom, HubSpot all over the cloud and directly on my mobile and I can do so without my device being managed. In a usual situation like this, app-wrapping takes care of the challenges of securing corporate data in enterprise applications, but wrapped apps are available only after the device is managed! Conditional Access (I am sure you don’t come across this term that often) could have solved this issue but it takes care of your Email access only and not the other applications.

So, should the MDM add an Identity Management part as well, which works on top of your IDM (Intelligent/Remote Device Management) and provides Conditional Access to applications? Or, should we innovate and plug-in some of the consensus algorithms used in Blockchain like Proof of Stake or Proof of Work to provide access?

Afterthought

So, to put it all together, the MDM market has become overcrowded with multiple competitors who are screaming out loud about their new-age innovations, feature-loaded solution, technology and application buzzwords and what not! But the only factor that cut across all these noises is how your MDM solution can simplify your IT team and the end users’ life! How beautifully it can guide you through all technical complications to achieve the core business value and software ROI.

It definitely should be an innovative product with all the powerful features but at the same time, it must ensure that the functionalities are relevant to the customers’ requirements. After all, an MDM solution must address the everyday core pain points of its actual users and not just tackle the device management complications.

Sriram has been developing mobile applications for 10+ years. His experiences include working on a BYOD solution, a custom Android OS for the enterprises and multi-headed Chat clients for consumers. He has had experience working for early stage start-ups to mid-size stuck-ups and near-stagnant MNC’s. On a personal level he thinks a nice sandwich is all that the world needs!!.

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