Android devices have become an integral part of business operations, dominating the mobile OS world with a market share of around 71%¹. From communication to productivity apps, companies rely on Android OS devices to streamline processes and enhance employee efficiency.
However, managing a fleet of Android devices can be challenging, especially in terms of security and data protection. This is where an Android device management solution comes into play. Android device management refers to the set of tools and practices that enable businesses to secure and manage Android devices remotely.
This blog is a dedicated deep dive into the seas of Android device management. It will cover every aspect of managing Android devices for organizations and IT admins—the need, the benefits, the features, and more. We will also touch upon the difference you can make by choosing the right mobile device management (MDM) solution like Scalefusion to manage an Android device fleet.
What is Android Device Management?
Android device management encompasses a range of solutions designed to manage and control Android devices within an organization. It involves configuring, monitoring, securing, and supporting these devices from a centralized platform, typically an enterprise mobility management (EMM) or an MDM platform.
Android device management provides businesses with the ability to enforce policies, deploy applications, and ensure data protection across their Android device fleet. It also enables organizations to make their devices business-ready for diverse use cases.
Why is Android MDM Solution Important for Businesses?
Android device management plays a crucial role in modern businesses. Due to the proliferation of Android devices in the workplace, organizational data, employee productivity as well as customer experience are heavily dependent on how the Android device is configured and how well it performs.
Some of the key reasons why Android device management is important include:
a. Security: With the increase in cyber threats and data breaches, securing corporate data on Android devices has become a top priority for businesses. Android device management allows IT administrators to implement robust security measures, such as password policies, encryption, and remote locking/wiping of devices, to safeguard sensitive information.
b. Productivity: Android device management helps improve employee productivity by managing device settings and applications centrally. It ensures employees have access to the right tools and resources, allowing them to focus on their tasks without worrying about device-related issues. It also helps eliminate distractions and brings back the focus on where it matters most.
c. Compliance: Several industries have strict regulations regarding data privacy and security. Android device management enables businesses to adhere to these compliance requirements by enforcing necessary policies preventing data sharing and tracking device usage.
d. Cost-efficiency: Android device management helps optimize device usage and reduces downtime, leading to cost savings for businesses. It streamlines device provisioning, app deployment, and troubleshooting, minimizing the need for costly manual interventions.
Benefits of Using Android MDM Software
Android device management offers several advantages to businesses, making it an essential tool for managing company-owned devices in the workplace:
a. Centralized Control: Android device management tool provides a single, unified platform to manage all Android devices, regardless of their location. IT administrators can remotely configure settings, deploy updates, and enforce security policies from a central console, simplifying management tasks.
b. Enhanced Security: With Android device management, businesses can implement robust security measures such as password policies, two-factor authentication, and encryption. In case of device loss or theft, administrators can remotely wipe corporate data to prevent unauthorized access.
c. Increased Efficiency: Android device management streamlines device provisioning and application management, reducing the time and effort required for device setup. This, in turn, enhances employee productivity and ensures seamless onboarding for new hires.
d. Customizable Policies: Android device management allows businesses to create custom policies based on user roles, departments, or device types. This flexibility ensures that each device complies with the specific requirements of its designated user.
e. Remote Troubleshooting: Android device management enables IT teams to diagnose and resolve device issues remotely. This feature saves a lot of time and reduces the overheads associated with on-site visits and physical troubleshooting, making it a cost-effective solution. Minimum downtime also improves customer experience when devices are in customer-facing business environments such as digital signage and self-service kiosks.
Types of Android Mobile Device Management
1. Corporate-Owned, Business Only (COBO) / Dedicated Device Management
COBO refers to devices that are owned by the company and are under the complete control of the IT department. These devices are typically used for specific work-related tasks and have limited access to personal apps and content. COBO offers the highest level of security and control, making it ideal for industries with strict data protection requirements. For industries where devices are not used by employees but are unattended for customer use, COBO is the most preferred mode of management.
2. Corporate-Owned, Personally Enabled (COPE) / Work Profile on Corporate Owned (WPCO) Device Management
COPE allows organizations to provide employees with corporate-owned devices while allowing some level of personal use. IT administrators can partition the device, separating the Android work profile from the personal one. This approach strikes a balance between security and employee privacy, making it popular among organizations with a large number of knowledge workers.
3. Employee-Owned or Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Management
BYOD allows employees to use their personal Android devices for work-related tasks. Android device management in a BYOD environment enables IT teams to manage the corporate data and applications on the device without intruding on the user’s personal content. BYOD offers cost savings to companies as they do not need to purchase devices, but it also presents security challenges that require careful management.
|Learn More: CYOD vs BYOD vs COBO vs COPE|
How Android Device Management Solution Works from IT Admins’ POV
With the increasing adoption of Android devices, IT administrators face the critical task of managing, monitoring, and securing large device inventories. Let’s delve into the workings of Android device management from an IT admin’s perspective, exploring the essential aspects that empower them to manage a fleet of Android devices effectively.
With Android device management, IT admins can enroll multiple devices through different enrollment methods. Some of the common enrollment methods for Android include Zero-touch, EMM, QR code, email, CSV, and Samsung KME, among others.
Android device management allows administrators to remotely configure device settings such as Wi-Fi, email accounts, VPN connections, and branding. This ensures that all devices are set up according to the organization’s standards, reducing the likelihood of configuration errors.
Application and Content Management
With Android device management, IT teams can centrally deploy, update, and remove applications and content on Android devices. App management simplifies the process of installing necessary business apps and ensures that all devices have the required software versions. Content management ensures employees have access to relevant information at the right time and in the right place.
Security Policy Enforcement
Android device management empowers businesses to enforce security policies across all managed devices. This includes setting up password requirements, enabling encryption, and defining access control rules to protect sensitive data.
Data Loss Prevention (DLP)
DLP is a security strategy to prevent data leaks via unauthorized access or distribution of sensitive information. Android device management enables organizations to execute DLP policies on devices as per business needs. For instance, as per DLP policy, Android device management allows administrators to trigger a remote lock and wipe action, erasing all corporate data from the device while locking it. This feature helps safeguard confidential information and maintain data integrity.
Geofencing and Location Tracking
Geofencing enables administrators to set up virtual boundaries on a map, and when a managed Android device enters or exits these predefined areas, specific actions can be triggered. Location tracking allows businesses to monitor the real-time location of devices, which can be beneficial for asset tracking, field service management, and enhancing employee safety.
Android Kiosk Mode
Kiosk mode restricts the Android device to a specific app or a set of applications, making it suitable for single-purpose use. Businesses can use kiosk mode for digital signage, interactive displays, or dedicated business applications, preventing unauthorized access to other device functions.
Web Content Filtering
Web content filtering enables organizations to control the websites and content that employees or other end users (like students) can access on their managed Android devices. By filtering out potentially harmful or non-business-related content, companies and educational institutes can enhance productivity and protect their network from security threats.
Android device management helps businesses maintain compliance with industry regulations and internal policies. IT administrators can monitor device compliance through automated workflows, ensuring that devices adhere to security standards, software updates, and other relevant requirements. Automated workflows also save the time consumed in performing repetitive IT tasks.
Google Play Protect API
Google Play Protect API allows IT admins to check device integrity, compliance, security, and compatibility by analyzing firmware and hardware info on devices that run work apps from Google Play Store. The API looks for the device in the Android compatibility testing list and checks the software and firmware for integrity. Thus, IT admins can keep a tab on whether or not a device has been modified/tampered with.
Industries Where Android Enterprise Device Management is Critical
In the healthcare industry, Android Device Management plays a critical role in ensuring the security and privacy of sensitive patient information. Healthcare providers use Android devices for various tasks, including accessing electronic health records (EHRs), capturing patient data, and communicating with colleagues.
An Android MDM solution helps enforce stringent security policies, such as password requirements and device encryption, to meet the requirements of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). It also enables remote wipe capabilities to protect patient data in case of lost or stolen devices. Additionally, location tracking can be useful in hospitals to monitor staff and device whereabouts, ensuring coherent daily operations.
In the finance industry, Android devices are utilized for mobile banking, customer relationship management, and financial transactions. Android device management is crucial for financial institutions to comply with regulations such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which mandates the protection of personal data.
Through Android device management, financial organizations can enforce strong security measures like multi-factor authentication, data encryption, and access controls to prevent unauthorized access to sensitive financial information. Regular monitoring and reporting capabilities of Android device management also help financial institutions maintain compliance and identify potential security risks proactively.
In educational institutions, Android devices are becoming increasingly prevalent for digital learning, classroom management, and administrative tasks. Android MDM for education allows educators to control and monitor student devices, ensuring a safe and productive digital learning environment.
With geofencing and location tracking features, schools can track students during field trips or in emergency situations, enhancing student safety. Moreover, shared device management through Android device management facilitates the distribution of devices among students, optimizing resource utilization while maintaining privacy for individual users.
d. Retail and Inventory Management
Retail businesses rely on Android devices for point-of-sale (POS) systems, inventory management, and customer engagement. Android device management helps retailers manage their device fleet, ensuring that POS applications are up-to-date and securely configured to process transactions safely.
Inventory management is streamlined through application management features, enabling easy updates and inventory tracking applications. Additionally, kiosk mode can be employed to create dedicated devices for specific retail functions, preventing unauthorized access to other apps and functions.
e. Transportation and Fleet Tracking
In the transportation industry, Android device management is vital for managing and tracking vehicles in a fleet. Android devices with geofencing and location tracking features allow businesses to monitor vehicle movements, optimize routes, and ensure timely deliveries.
Field service personnel can also benefit from Android device management, as it enables dispatchers to assign tasks, track technicians, and provide real-time updates to both customers and the central office. This streamlined communication and tracking process enhances operational efficiency and improves customer satisfaction.
Manufacturing companies utilize Android devices (often rugged devices) for various tasks, including inventory management, quality control, and asset tracking on the production floor. Android device management facilitates the implementation of custom device configurations for specific manufacturing roles, ensuring that employees have access to the right applications and settings. Additionally, Android device management helps enforce security policies to protect intellectual property and sensitive manufacturing data.
Considerations for Android Device Management Software
Implementing an effective Android device management strategy requires careful planning and consideration of various factors. Here are some essential steps and strategies to consider:
a. Assessing Organizational Needs: Start by assessing your organization’s specific requirements and use cases for Android devices. Identify the key goals of Android device management implementation, such as improving security, enhancing productivity, or enabling BYOD policies. This assessment will help you choose the right Android device management solution that aligns with your business objectives.
b. Choosing the Right Android MDM Solution: Selecting the appropriate Android device management solution is crucial for successful implementation. Consider factors such as scalability, device compatibility, security features, ease of use, and customer support when evaluating different Android device management vendors.
c. Defining Device Policies: Develop clear and comprehensive device policies tailored to your organization’s needs. These policies should encompass security measures, acceptable use guidelines, app restrictions, and data-sharing practices. Communicate these policies to employees to ensure compliance.
d. Device Enrollment and Provisioning: Establish an efficient device enrollment and provisioning process to onboard new devices quickly. This process should automate the configuration of devices with essential settings, apps, and security policies, reducing the burden on IT administrators.
e. Security and Data Protection: Place a strong emphasis on security and data protection. Implement encryption, enforce strong password policies, enable remote wipe capabilities, and regularly update device firmware and security patches to mitigate potential vulnerabilities.
f. User Training and Support: Provide adequate training to employees on using managed Android devices effectively and securely. Additionally, offer ongoing support to address any technical issues, ensuring a smooth user experience.
g. Compliance Monitoring and Reporting: Regularly monitor device compliance with established policies and generate reports to identify potential risks or areas for improvement. Utilize analytics to gain insights into device performance and user behavior.
h. Regular Updates and Maintenance: Keep the Android device management solution and managed devices up to date with the latest software releases and security patches. Regularly review and update device policies based on evolving business needs and industry standards.
i. Backup and Disaster Recovery: Implement a robust data backup and disaster recovery strategy to safeguard critical business data in case of device failure, loss, or theft.
Overview of Scalefusion Android Management
Scalefusion is a leading MDM solution that specializes in managing Android devices for businesses and organizations of all sizes. Formerly known as MobiLock Pro, Scalefusion offers a comprehensive suite of features and tools that empower IT administrators to efficiently manage, secure, and monitor their Android device fleet from a centralized Android MDM platform. With a user-friendly interface and robust functionalities, Scalefusion simplifies Android device management, making it an ideal choice for various industries and use cases.
How Scalefusion Helps Manage Android Devices
Scalefusion is a solution tailored to meet the IT management needs of businesses of all sizes. While it covers all the generic Android device management features, there are some exclusive offerings for IT admins handling Android-heavy environments. A testament to that is Scalefusion being an Android Enterprise Silver Partner.
Here’s a look at how Scalefusion makes Android device management effective and effortless.
Scalefusion’s web-based dashboard provides a centralized platform for managing all Android devices in the enterprise. IT administrators can access and configure settings, deploy applications, and enforce policies from a single console, making device management more efficient and streamlined.
Simplified & Versatile Onboarding
Scalefusion’s easy enrollment methods, including QR code, out-of-the-box (OOB), and Zero-touch enrollment, simplify the onboarding process for new devices, saving time and effort for IT teams. Scalefusion supports the entire range of Android device enrollment, including COPE and AMAPI BYOD (agentless enrollment). Thus, enrollment of Android devices is quick and all-inclusive.
Scalefusion helps enhance the security of managed Android devices by enforcing strict security policies, enabling encryption, and facilitating remote wipe capabilities. This ensures that corporate data remains protected even in the event of device loss or theft.
By managing application deployment and configuration remotely, Scalefusion ensures that employees have access to the right tools and resources, boosting their productivity and efficiency.
Scalefusion allows organizations to create custom policies based on user roles, departments, or device types. This flexibility ensures that each device is appropriately configured for its designated user.
Real-time Monitoring and Reporting
Scalefusion’s DeepDive analytics provides real-time monitoring and reporting on device performance, compliance status, and security issues. This data empowers IT administrators to identify and address potential problems proactively.
Remote Cast & Control with VoIP
A key feature of Scalefusion, Remote Cast & Control, allows IT admins to remotely troubleshoot device issues. This ensures timely IT intervention without physical access to an Android device, reducing downtime and on-site visit costs. The option of VoIP makes remote troubleshooting furthermore seamless from both the admin and employee perspective.
Shared Android Device Management
In scenarios where multiple employees share the same Android device, Scalefusion’s exclusive feature of shared Android device management allows IT administrators to apply group-based device sharing. This ensures that each user has access to the required work apps, settings, and data, promoting a personalized and secure experience on shared Android devices.
Reliable Technical Support
Scalefusion offers dedicated, best-in-class customer support and assistance to help businesses make the most of their Android device fleets. This ensures a smooth implementation and efficient ongoing management of Android devices.
Case Studies: Successful Deployment of Scalefusion Android MDM
Magna, a leading global automotive supplier, operates 328 manufacturing facilities and 99 centers for product development, engineering, and sales in 29 countries. The company is committed to delivering exceptional value to customers through innovative processes and world-class manufacturing.
To address the diverse challenges and ensure access control for Android mobile devices used in its manufacturing units, Magna sought a comprehensive solution. After evaluating various options, it zeroed in on Scalefusion MDM.
Leveraging the Scalefusion dashboard, IT administrators gained remote access control over deployed Android devices in the production process. They efficiently deployed relevant native apps based on device profiles and specific department requirements. Creating device groups enabled different departments to access applications tailored to their respective needs, minimizing data leakage and promoting a business-focused work culture.
The DeepDive feature on the Scalefusion dashboard facilitated continuous activity monitoring. With application management, Magna established a robust and secure environment by blacklisting unauthorized apps and permitting only productivity-related applications. This measure significantly reduced data costs and curtailed personal use or misuse by unauthorized employees. With centralized monitoring, Magna could maintain a controlled and efficient device ecosystem.
At The Gate
Located in Johannesburg, SA, At the Gate provides its clients with a streamlined cloud-based Access Control/Visitor Management solution.
After extensive market research, At The Gate selected Scalefusion as its MDM solution to fulfill its needs. Utilizing Scalefusion’s app and web content management, customers could whitelist essential apps and websites while blacklisting others. The Scalefusion Enterprise Store enabled the remote installation of private business apps on the devices.
By employing the kiosk lockdown mode, At The Gate ensured devices running on Android operating system were solely utilized for business purposes, effectively securing them and minimizing data usage. Real-time alerts and broadcast messages could be sent to the devices to notify staff of updates. With Scalefusion’s location tracking and geofencing, the devices’ real-time locations were monitored, swiftly identifying any potential threats to device security.
|Curious to Know More: How Scalefusion secured Android rugged devices for At The Gate|
Fujirebio, headquartered in Japan, boasts a deeply ingrained culture of excellence and stands as a global frontrunner in high-quality in vitro diagnostics (IVD) testing. Following extensive consideration, Fujirebio Diagnostics AB (Sweden) opted for Scalefusion to centrally manage and monitor all its corporate-owned Android devices via a single web-based dashboard. During the setup, IT administrators applied custom company branding on the devices.
By utilizing Scalefusion, the IT administrators could effortlessly monitor and track each device in real time, ensuring no unauthorized alterations were made. Consequently, the IT staff had the capability to approve or disapprove apps and content, and promptly execute actions on devices while remotely distributing content and apps to the devices.
With kiosk mode, whitelisting and blacklisting of websites were enabled, along with the prevention of media downloads, effectively curbing data costs. Additionally, Scalefusion empowered the IT team with the ability to wipe and lock devices taken outside the workplace remotely.
Ordensklinikum Linz GmbH, a prominent hospital in Upper Austria, boasts a capacity of approximately 1,200 beds. In search of a solution to prevent users from altering camera settings on Android devices, the hospital selected Scalefusion after a successful trial. With Scalefusion, the hospital gained the ability to remotely monitor, control, and adjust camera settings and other hardware buttons on registered devices.
Thanks to Scalefusion, the hospital’s IT administrators now have access to real-time battery status updates for the devices. Furthermore, deploying Android devices with Scalefusion allowed the hospital to secure the settings of devices used for capturing wound photographs, leading to improved wound documentation, a primary requirement for Ordensklinikum.
Established in 1988 and headquartered in Downtown Phoenix, Peddler’s Son Produce & Provisions is a family-owned wholesale distributor of high-quality produce, meats, dairy, desserts, spices, and specialty items to Arizona communities.
Peddler’s Son chose Scalefusion as the ideal solution for their needs. Utilizing Scalefusion, the company’s support staff gained the ability to lock each driver’s Android tablet, closely monitoring its activity for security purposes. The multi-app kiosk mode ensured limited access for drivers, permitting only the electronic logbook app and a few relevant apps (if required). Consequently, drivers could effortlessly use the tablets without the need for extensive tech knowledge, making the transition from paper-based logbooks to electronic logbooks seamless as mandated.
The IT staff achieved remote management of all devices, effectively reducing downtime costs for the company. Given Peddler’s Son’s involvement in logistics operations, Scalefusion’s geofencing and location tracking functionalities enabled real-time monitoring of each device’s location on-site.
|Want to Learn More: How Scalefusion transformed Peddler’s Son’s fleet operations|
For more than 50 years, Pontiradio PR, a prominent Italian company, has specialized in providing services related to professional mobile radio communication networks.
To enhance its operations, Pontiradio opted for Scalefusion’s assistance in crafting a customized Android environment that exclusively accommodates a curated selection of applications. Employing Scalefusion’s kiosk/multi-app mode, the company successfully optimized device utilization for work-specific purposes within a secure and managed setting.
Through Scalefusion’s kiosk lockdown solution, Pontiradio gained the ability to remotely oversee device management and prevent unauthorized app downloads by workers. This measure effectively curbed device misuse and fostered a more productive and focused work environment. Furthermore, it efficiently limited unnecessary web browsing and access to social media apps.
|Want a custom smartphone environment? See how Scalefusion helped Pontiradio PR!|
Android device management is a critical component of modern business operations. Its ability to secure, monitor, and support Android devices remotely makes it indispensable for enterprises of all sizes. Android mobile device management enhances productivity, reduces operational costs, and ensures data protection, making it a great value proposition and ROI for businesses seeking to leverage Android devices efficiently while maintaining a robust security posture.
Final Thoughts: Look No Further than Scalefusion MDM
Scalefusion MDM is a powerful and user-friendly solution designed to help businesses manage Android devices efficiently and securely. Its comprehensive features, including flexible device enrollment, remote cast & control, security enforcement, DeepDive analytics, shared device management, and location tracking, make it an invaluable asset for businesses across various industries.
With Scalefusion’s centralized management, organizations can improve productivity, strengthen security measures, and streamline the overall Android mobile device management processes. Whether it’s healthcare, education, retail, transportation, or manufacturing, Scalefusion MDM empowers organizations to harness the full potential of Android devices while maintaining control and data protection.