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    What is Android Device Management: A Comprehensive Guide

    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 Android device management comes into play. It 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 needs, 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 MDM)?

    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 It Important for Businesses?

    Android 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 corporate device management enables businesses to adhere to these compliance requirements by enforcing necessary policies preventing data sharing and tracking device usage.

    d. Cost-efficiency: MDM for Android 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 Device Management

    Mobile device management for Android offers several advantages to businesses, making it an essential tool for managing company-owned devices in the workplace:

    a. Centralized Control: The 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 enterprise 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: Device management for Android 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 software 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 remote 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 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 Does Android Device Management (Android MDM) Work 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 functions 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.

    Device Enrollment

    With an Android device management tool, 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.  

    Device Configuration

    Android device management app 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

    MDM for Android devices 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 enterprise device management enables organizations to execute DLP policies on devices as per business needs. For instance, as per DLP policy, Android device management software 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.

    Automated Workflows

    Mobile device management for Android 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

    a. Healthcare

    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 device management 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.

    b. Finance

    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.

    c. Education

    In educational institutions, Android devices are becoming increasingly prevalent for digital learning, classroom management, and administrative tasks. Android device management 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 for schools facilitates the distribution of Android 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 tablet 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 management software 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.

    f. Manufacturing

    Manufacturing companies utilize Android devices (often rugged devices) for various tasks, including inventory management, quality control, and asset tracking on the production floor. Corporate 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, managing Android devices helps enforce security policies to protect intellectual property and sensitive manufacturing data.

    Considerations for Android Device Management

    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 software implementation, such as improving security, enhancing productivity, or enabling BYOD policies. This assessment will help you choose the right MDM solution for Android that aligns with your business objectives.

    b. Choosing the Right Android MDM Solution: Selecting the appropriate Android MDM 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.

    how Android can boost your business
    Android MDM E-Book

    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 management platform. With a user-friendly interface and robust functionalities, Scalefusion simplifies managing Android devices, 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 Gold Partner

    Here’s a look at how Scalefusion makes managing Android devices effective and effortless. 

    Centralized Management

    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. 

    Improved Security

    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.

    Enhanced Productivity

    By managing application deployment and configuration remotely, Scalefusion ensures that employees have access to the right tools and resources, boosting their productivity and efficiency.

    Customizable Policies

    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 and 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.

    Summary

    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 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 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.

    Explore the Android device management capabilities by scheduling a demo with our experts. Sign up for a 14-day free trial now!

    Sources:

    1. Statista.com

    FAQs

    1. What is Android device management? 

    Android device management involves the centralized control and administration of Android devices within an enterprise environment. It includes tasks such as configuring device settings, enforcing security policies, managing applications, and ensuring compliance with organizational standards.

    2. How to set up an Android MDM?

    To set up MDM on Android, choose an MDM solution compatible with Android devices, enroll devices through a secure method like QR codes or tokens, and configure policies for security, application management, and compliance through the MDM console. Ensure devices are provisioned with necessary settings and regularly monitor and manage them remotely using the MDM solution.

    3. What is a fully managed Android device?

    A fully managed Android device is a mobile device that is tightly controlled and configured by an enterprise’s MDM solution. It allows organizations to enforce security policies, deploy applications, and manage device settings remotely for enhanced control and compliance within an enterprise mobility framework.

    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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