In the testing times of today, with shrinking budgets, consistent layoffs and cost-cutting initiatives, investing in new company-owned devices is a massive challenge for small businesses. Even large enterprises are keen to bring down CapEx and OpEx.
Organizations and their IT teams need a cost-effective way to ensure that additional device costs don’t impact budgets while ensuring that employee productivity is unaffected.
Scalefusion has recently introduced features to enable the sharing of company-owned Android devices amongst employees working in different shifts.
Android holds a commanding share of the global OS market, making it a popular choice among users as well as businesses that issue smartphones and tablets to employees for work.
In this article, let’s explore how sharing company-owned Android devices serves as one of the best options for businesses looking to optimize their expenditures.
What are Shared Devices?
Shared (company-owned) devices are tablets or smartphones owned by the organization and shared among two or more employees. Shared devices find use in a host of settings like shopping malls, retail stores, libraries, educational institutes, healthcare facilities, and even corporate offices and manufacturing units.
In public-facing use cases, shared devices are used for web browsing, ordering, raising tickets or filling out forms.
In enterprise settings, shared devices are generally locked to specific work applications that multiple users require to accomplish their tasks.
Why Do Businesses Need Shared Devices?
Shared devices serve the primary purpose of bringing down the cost companies incur in procuring new devices for employees or customers. It is also useful in environments where contract workers join an organization for a specific, limited time to finish an assignment or project.
Shared devices don’t just bring down costs for organizations but also decrease the number of devices IT admins must manage. For example, instead of managing 30 separate devices for a team of 30 individuals, shared devices can help bring the managed device count to 15 (when shared among two) or even 10 (when shared among three). And that’s just one team. So, you can do the math!
Shared devices are an ideal option for businesses that are operational round the clock, where one shift ends and the other begins. In such work environments, the same device can be shared between two or more employees working different shifts.
When there are hundreds of company-owned Android devices across the organization, offering shared devices is an easier option to reduce the cognitive load of managing a large device inventory.
Shared Android devices are a perfect option for organizations to cut costs and for their IT teams to be more efficient.
How to Set Up Shared Android Devices?
Shared Android devices operate in a very similar manner to which Windows-based laptops and desktops work. While Windows is user-agnostic with the native functionality of multi-user logins and passwords, shared Android devices require a solution like mobile device management (MDM).
IT admins must enroll devices used in the corporate setting and apply policies or profiles for these devices. Each profile or policy should contain settings, permissions and applications relevant to one type of user that will be accessing the device.
IT admins can also enroll users and create user groups in an MDM dashboard based on the organization’s email client—Google Workplace or Microsoft Office. Once the user group is created, IT admins then need to add user email IDs to the group. This user group can then be linked to the required Android device profiles on the dashboard.
IT admins can configure settings that enable multiple users to access the device, said during their specific shift times. Profile switches are then triggered based on time or location, which will automatically make the device ready for the user who is supposed to access the device in that time frame or location.
How Shared Devices Work?
Once company-owned shared Android devices are set up, it’s pretty much like how different users log in to the same Windows device. However, for added security and identity verification, users must also enter the OTP sent to their email ID apart from their username and password. This login process remains the same when the first user logs out, and the next one must sign in.
For businesses that want to eliminate the user based access, using an MDM solution to trigger workflows is essential. With an MDM, IT admins can:
- Create one or more policies equipped with content, apps and settings that the device will be used for
- Automate policy switch based on time or location
- Each employee finds profile settings pertaining to their tasks upon their access
For devices that are used as a public browser, or for web-based ordering, IT admins can:
- Enforce incognito mode for every browsing session and disable the saving of passwords, email addresses and browsing history
- Auto-refresh sessions after a period of inactivity, which ensures a smooth handover to the next user from a fresh page/form
There are many use cases of shared company devices across various sectors. For example, nurses in a hospital can use shared devices configured by IT to log in and out according to their shift timings. The same applies to 24×7 retail outlets and many other settings and work environments.
Shared Android devices will continue to rise in popularity among organizations and IT teams as businesses look to be cost-efficient and productive at the same time.
Scalefusion MDM helps IT admins configure shared company-owned Android devices with ease. Explore more with a 14-day free trial, or speak to our experts.