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    Remote Device Management: Definition, Benefits, and Features

    A recent research confirms that there will be 92 million remote digital jobs by 2030[1].

    Even with the pandemic a thing of the past, the shift from conventional work from the office to a flexible remote/hybrid model could still be an overwhelming experience for IT admins.

    With the proliferation of mobile devices in the workplace, IT admins must stay smart and agile in managing them. This includes balancing turnaround times and physical distance to support user needs. The result? Loss in productivity and expanded cost to achieve the same outcome.

    But there’s good news! Remote device management gives IT administrators control and real-time visibility over devices, including corporate-owned, BYO, and rugged devices. From provisioning to troubleshooting, remote mobile device management (MDM) offers a better alternative to traveling.

    In this blog, we will cover all the fundamentals of remote device management for organizations and their IT teams. 

    What is Remote Device Management?

    Remote device management entails the centralized administration and oversight of diverse devices, including smartphones, tablets, laptops, and purpose-built devices.

    The primary goal of remote device management software is to streamline the management of devices, bolster security, and facilitate seamless operations for teams spread across various locations. This objective is commonly realized through the deployment of a specialized mobile device management (MDM) solution for enterprises, enabling IT administrators to monitor, configure, update, and diagnose devices—smartphones, tablets, and laptops—from a centralized platform. 

    For instance, IT admins can take remote actions such as device locking, corporate data wiping, changing security policies, and removing device control on managed devices.

    Challenges in Managing Remote Devices

    The emergence of modern work environments introduces complexities for IT administrators tasked with overseeing device management across both remote and in-office settings. Furthermore, it necessitates employees becoming more self-reliant in handling technology at work.

    For modern workplaces to thrive within digital and cloud-centric scenarios, it is imperative for staff to have uninterrupted access to their devices and endpoints to maintain connectivity. Consequently, it becomes vital to adopt solutions that are user-friendly and straightforward to deploy. 

    For IT managers and managed service providers (MSPs) alike, streamlining the management and security of numerous devices, often scattered across various locations, presents formidable challenges and can lead to significant expenses. The challenges encompass handling software and security updates, certificates, and device lifecycles, among other tasks—all of which are labor-intensive, intricate, and repetitive. 

    Channel partners and their clients must recognize that effective new-age workplaces depend on the seamless integration of multiple devices and endpoints, highlighting the importance of robust and easy remote device management within a mobile device management framework.

    Why Do Businesses Need Remote Device Management Solutions?

    Remote management of devices saves countless hours of lost productivity and travel time. IT departments get remote access to set up devices, troubleshoot issues, and protect corporate information from theft or unauthorized access.

    When devices are spread across locations, easy remote device management centrally manages updates, data, apps, device groups, and each device configuration from a single dashboard. This means organizations can work with an easily scalable, flexible cloud solution.

    Leveraging a remote device management platform can streamline the IT complexities, empowering you to manage every device within your fleet remotely.

    Benefits of Remote Device Management

    Device Management at Scale

    Whether admins are managing company-owned or employee-owned (BYOD) devices in modern workplaces for remote use, the device fleet is subject to significant expansions. 

    The device range can include an assortment of laptops, iPhones, iPads, Windows devices, and a variety of Android devices. The ability to remotely monitor this heterogeneous device ecosystem is crucial for the effectiveness of flexible workplaces. Remote management facilitates secure onboarding, organization, monitoring, and control of device fleets, irrespective of their numbers. 

    Security Measures

    Providing remote access to mobile devices necessitates robust security measures to safeguard against data loss or theft, especially in situations where a device is lost, stolen, or malfunctioning. Remote device management enables organizations to promptly respond to such incidents—by locating misplaced devices or remotely erasing sensitive corporate information on lost devices. It also allows for the remote wiping of lost devices and the isolation of devices exhibiting unusual behavior.

    Usage Monitoring

    Monitoring how devices are being handled by employees is another crucial aspect of remote device management. For instance, with remote device management, organizations can identify when devices are over-utilizing Internet data and require optimization. This mitigates the need for manual monitoring of device usage, including identifying which devices are in use, when they are used, and which ones are causing issues. Through a remote device management console, devices and their data become easily accessible, streamlining the monitoring process.

    Streamlined Operations

    An MDM platform with remote management capabilities offers a unified approach to device management across geographically dispersed teams. It empowers IT administrators with options to remotely manage, configure, and diagnose devices, alongside providing timely software updates and patch management. Thus, the time and cost associated with on-site visits and manual interventions are reduced, thereby allowing more bandwidth toward strategic endeavors.

    Boosted Productivity

    Remote device management platforms enhance the productivity of teams by enabling flexible work environments. Employees gain the freedom to choose their preferred devices and operating systems, coupled with secure access to corporate assets from any location. Facilitating swift resolution of technical issues elevates employee output and encourages higher workplace efficiency.

    Key Features of Remote Device Management Software

    1. Remote Access & Control

    The ability to remotely access and control mobile devices is a fundamental component of remote device management. It allows IT staff to troubleshoot device issues without requiring devices to return for a physical inspection, resulting in reduced downtime. Some MDM solutions not only allow IT personnel to remotely access devices but also record sessions or connect with end users over VoIP calls for faster troubleshooting.

    2. Device Lock

    Remote device lock is a security feature that prevents the misuse of a device if it gets lost or stolen. IT admins can remotely lock down devices from the centralized MDM dashboard. In the event a device is retrieved, employees can enter their password to unlock the device. It’s recommended that a passcode policy for mobile devices be enforced under remote management.

    3. Data Wipe

    The ability to wipe sensitive data from any lost devices provides an added layer of security to mobile devices that access corporate data and applications. In a BYOD scenario, all the data and apps in the work profile container on devices can be remotely erased. The remote device management platform can’t alter personal apps and data.

    4. Manage Unattended Devices

    Organizations that use mobile devices for commercial purposes must also improve their remote monitoring capabilities. Businesses benefit by converting mobile devices into digital signage, POS terminals, information booths, and self-service kiosks. However, physically managing several devices located across multiple locations is unrealistic. IT admins can remotely configure unattended devices for single- or multiple-app experiences using remote device management. IT teams can restart and shut down such devices to diagnose and repair issues.

    5. Schedule Regular Alerts

    IT teams can keep a close tab on enrolled mobile devices to view details about installed apps, blacklisted apps, and restrictions imposed on the device, along with other device details, including OS versions, storage, and battery levels. MDM solutions support remote visibility and reporting of device health, security, data usage, and compliance violations.

    Empower Yourself with Remote Device Management Features of Scalefusion

    Considering the existence of hybrid or remote work and security challenges in the mobile-first era, mobile device management with remote access is now a necessity for IT teams. Organizations can extract cost savings by improving the efficiency and performance of IT departments and reducing device maintenance expenses.

    Speak to our experts and schedule a live demo to experience how Scalefusion’s remote device management can empower business mobility. Sign up for a 14-day free trial now!

    References:
    1. World Economic Forum

    FAQs

    1. What is the difference between remote device management & remote system management?

    Remote device management focuses on managing mobile and IoT devices, primarily through policies and applications, while remote system management involves overseeing the entire IT infrastructure, including servers, networks, and computers, often incorporating single sign-on implementation for seamless access control.

    2. What are the examples of remote device management platforms?

    Examples of remote device management platforms that support single sign-on implementation include Scalefusion, Microsoft Intune, VMware Workspace ONE, Scalefusion, and Cisco Meraki. These solutions offer streamlined access control and enhanced security for managing devices remotely.

    3. How remote device management helps organizations?

    Remote device management facilitates organizations by streamlining Single sign-on implementation, enhancing security, and ensuring seamless access to resources across multiple devices. It simplifies administrative tasks, reduces IT overhead, and improves user experience by enabling efficient control and management of device ecosystems.

    4. What are some best practices for effective remote device management?

    For effective remote device management, prioritize robust security measures, including single sign-on implementation for streamlined access control. Ensure regular software updates, enforce strong password policies, and utilize encryption. Also, adopt real-time monitoring and support for quick issue resolution and optimal device performance.

    5. What allows a device to be managed remotely?

    Devices can be remotely managed through built-in features or installed remote device management software that enables remote access. This software often provides a communication channel for instructions and allows for configuration, monitoring, and troubleshooting from a centralized location.

    Renuka Shahane
    Renuka Shahane
    Renuka Shahane is an avid reader who loves writing about technology. She is an engineering graduate with 10+ years of experience in content creation, content strategy and PR for web-based startups.

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