ROI of MDM: Interpreting the Plausible

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    “There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch”. Or breakfast and dinner, for that matter. The adage from the 1930s makes absolute sense for business even today, nine and some decades later. Be it life or business, when there’s an investment, returns are the natural expectation—either short or long-term.

    Mobile Device Management (MDM)
    ROI of Mobile Device Management for Businesses

    This is 2023, and if you know of an organization that doesn’t use a single SaaS tool, do let us know which planet you reside on and what’s the name of this alien enterprise. Jokes apart, the propulsion of SaaS globally is directly proportional to the ever-growing love of businesses for the cloud.

    Since the good old CRM days, many SaaS tools have come a long way from being ‘good-to-have’ to ‘must-have’, and mobile device management (MDM) is one of them. Investments in a SaaS product like MDM don’t entail the cardinal return of just money.

    What’s the ROI of an MDM solution for enterprises?

    So, is the ROI of an MDM solution tangible and plausible? Well, that’s exactly what this blog is all about. Let’s deep dive into how an MDM solution sets its ROI rolling and stays on course throughout your device management journey.

    Time is Money

    Here goes another adage, but like the free lunch one, this is ‘To the T’.  The amount of time saved may not always be tangible in terms of money, but it’s always plausible. Setting up a mobile without MDM software may take an average of up to an hour. This average drops to 5-10 minutes with an MDM solution that offers enrollment options like Android Zero-touch and Apple DEP.

    And in lieu of MDM, the range of devices includes laptops, desktops, and other endpoints. The number of devices can also go up to more than a thousand. So, you can do the math. Yes, the final hour count is huge. That’s how much time you can save with an MDM solution.

    That was just the device setup time. Add to that another critical IT task that MDM software brings down the clock on—troubleshooting. Let’s make your time calculations more intricate with a scenario where an enterprise is geographically distributed with many employees working remotely. If, without an MDM solution, IT admins were to physically troubleshoot dozens and hundreds of devices, good luck calculating the time on that.

    Time is perhaps the most valuable, unseen asset for any business. An MDM solution saves you hundreds and thousands of hours every year. It’s a pity there’s no time column scope in a balance sheet to tie it to the money tangent. Not needed. You don’t need special acumen to realize the incredible value an MDM solution adds to your business by saving a lot of—nope—a hell lot of time. That much time can be invested in other essential business requirements, which can reap strong monetary returns.

    Travel Isn’t Cheap

    The time saved by cutting out the need for on-site visits of IT heads to troubleshoot devices has been discussed above. Now, let’s show you some money! Domestic and international airfares have shot up in the post-pandemic economy. Even rail and road transport aren’t cheap by any means.

    An MDM solution reduces significant travel expenses for organizations as IT teams can accomplish many tasks from an MDM dashboard without moving an inch—metaphorically speaking. Indeed, they can move more than an inch to grab a beverage while a device reboots. 

    Security Alert: Threat Actors at Work

    Is your organization aware of the current pricing plans of RaaS (ransomware-as-a-service) gangs? Sorry for the sarcasm! There are other cybersecurity nuances, like password theft and phishing, which lead to data breaches. The financial liabilities of such security mishaps are huge.

    A 2022 IBM report reveals some alarming costs organizations incur for security compromises at a global level:

    • Average cost of a data breach was USD 4.35 million 
    • Average cost of a critical infrastructure data breach was USD 4.82 million
    • Average cost of a ransomware attack, excluding the ransom, was USD 4.54 million

    The above costs are not negligible by any stretch of imagination even for organizations with the most affluent turnovers. More than the monetary damage, data breaches mar an organization’s reputation and, worse, impinge customers’ faith.

    This is where an MDM can be a savior of both money and reputation. Arguably, the most prominent advantage of using an MDM tool is that it takes data security a notch above. Security is serious business, so we’ll dig a little deeper here.

    First, let’s address the leading attack vector—stolen or weak credentials. As per the same IBM study, stolen credentials led to 19% of data breaches in 2022, amounting to USD 4.50 million. An MDM solution allows IT folks to enforce strict passcode policies across your device inventory. This is a no-nonsense, no-loophole arena.

    From password complexity to length and frequency of change and allowed history, your IT can implement the strongest policies for devices. There’s also scope for multifactor authorization (MFA). Once set and applied across devices, passcode policies act as the first line of defense to ensure threat actors don’t hack device credentials easily.

    Now, time for the second attack vector that exploits the chinks in your security armor. What the phish! Yes, it’s phishing, and we’re still on that IBM study. Though phishing led to 16% of data breaches in 2022, which is lower than credential theft, it’s the costliest—USD 4.91 million. Employees working remotely access their personal Wi-Fi or often public Wi-Fi networks that are playgrounds for phishing. A click on an unsuspecting link is all it takes for cybercriminals to breach devices and their corporate data. Here comes MDM to the rescue again!

    An MDM solution lets IT admins whitelist or blacklist websites and browsers to ensure employees don’t venture into suspicious territories with their devices where malicious actors are all set with their phishing nets. When employees browse only safe and secure websites, the chances of phishing infiltration on devices and data are slim to none.

    Up next, ransomware was the third most perilous attack vector that caused 11% of data breaches in 2022. What makes this attack vector particularly noxious is the fact that it takes a while to detect ransomware breaches. 49 days were the 2022 global average. An MDM solution supports timely and automated patch management of devices’ operating systems to address this insidious intrusion. Patch management using an MDM tool thwarts the risks of patch vulnerabilities. When unpatched, these vulnerabilities are the gateway for RaaS gangs to wreak havoc on your devices and the entire OS network.

    The cost savings on potential data security fumbles, which an MDM solution offers, are enormous. That’s a major ROI of MDM, no doubt.

    Device Loss or Theft

    While loss or theft of desktops and other stationary or confined endpoints is improbable, mobile devices like smartphones and tablets are more prone to such incidents. Laptops fall somewhere in between with less likelihood. Whether a basic or a high-end model, it’s a monetary setback for organizations when their mobile devices are lost or stolen. In such unfortunate circumstances, there’s every reason for IT teams and organizations alike to fall in love with a couple of features of an MDM solution—location tracking and geofencing.

    IT admins can activate location tracking on devices from an MDM dashboard and set geofences for them as needed. With location tracking, the probability of recovering a lost or stolen device increases considerably, thereby saving the expense of buying a new one.

    Geofencing lets IT admins set boundaries within which they want to confine the concerned devices. When the geofence is breached, IT admins receive a notification on the MDM dashboard so they can investigate immediately and if it’s a case of device loss or theft, they can leverage location tracking thereafter. Both these features don’t guarantee recovery of the lost or stolen device but improve the odds of recovery. 

    The Intangible but Priceless

    Employee productivity and customer satisfaction or success were, are and will always be influential parameters determining where businesses stand in any market. They are intangible; however, no organization can prosper when these two are not in place. Investing in an MDM can give organizations total control over how employees spend their time on devices. Whether corporate or personal devices, IT admins can disable apps that can be distractors to productivity. There’s also the benefit of locking devices into single or multi-app kiosk modes to enhance employee productivity. Some might argue that’s harsh, but there’s enough scope for entertainment apps outside business hours.

    The way businesses interact with customers holds the key to customer satisfaction. Of course, the primary criterion is a great product or service model in the first place. But an MDM solution can take good care of customer interactions and make them seamless. And most of the time, it’s the little things that make a big difference for customers. Think of wayfinders and self-service kiosks at shopping malls, airports, hotels, hospitals or museums. All these make the customer experience better, leading to higher satisfaction. An MDM software can help manage such customer-facing devices with branding elements included for good measure. Satisfaction leads to retention. Retention leads to loyalty. And loyalty is what customer success is all about. Absolutely priceless!

    Employee productivity and customer satisfaction are intangible and not easily monetized. Nonetheless, in the long run, they add immense value to business. An MDM solution can improve employee productivity and elevate customer satisfaction for you to realize its value when you evaluate ROI.

    Data Packs Aren’t Free!

    Finally, we come to perhaps the smallest of savings, nonetheless savings. Temptation is not a crime, and no on-paper corporate laws can adjudicate and penalize distraction. Yet, both are deterrents to productivity in the workplace and come at the expense of mobile data when devices are involved. A few Instagram reels with photos and that enchanting HD episode on Netflix daily can cause a sizable surge in mobile data consumption, especially for corporate data packs or plans.

    Organizations can curb their mobile data spending with an MDM solution, as IT teams can disable unproductive apps on corporate devices. And this is all on a use case or role basis. Some of your teams may need YouTube access, while for some, it could be a distraction.

    The MDM dashboard allows IT admins to enable or disable apps on devices as per organizational requisites. This might appear as a modest ROI, but the savings are in millions of dollars when applied cumulatively on several hundreds and thousands of devices with a per-year factor.

    Stakes are High; The Time is Now

    Nobody knows about investments better than Warren Buffett. Here’s one of his impeccable, future-forward thoughts on ROI—”Someone is sitting in the shade of a tree today because someone planted a tree a long time ago”.

    Take a deep breath and soak in all of what’s discussed above. The total savings that an MDM solution offers, whether monthly or yearly, will for sure make your ROI piggy bank heavy. Add to that the priceless amount of time you can save. In a modern-day business scenario, the time to contemplate getting MDM software is over. It’s time to invest in one at the earliest and savor every plausible return up for grabs.

    The time is now! So, invest in Scalefusion and let your ROI of MDM soar consistently. Check out all the features with a 14-day free trial.

    Abhinandan Ghosh
    Abhinandan Ghosh
    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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