In recent times, the business landscape has seen a tremendous inclination towards innovative start-ups with digitized business models. Small businesses and start-ups are leveraging the benefits of enterprise mobility as it enables digitization of processes and reduces manual work, which contributes to reduced costs and higher efficiency. According to a report published in Forbes magazine, the number of startups in the IT industry grew by 20% compared to 2019, with growth rates peaking in the last quarter of 2020.1
Startups are generally financed by the founders, which diverts their prime focus towards building scalable and sustainable business models. The pivotal need of startups lies in tackling challenges related to finance management, cyber-security, device monitoring and using their workforce resourcefully. With work location flexibility comes an emergent need to secure company or employee-owned work devices and the business data it holds.
Let’s take a look at some of the common challenges faced by start-ups in managing work devices:
1. Cost management
Startups grapple with expense management owing to the pitfall of their limited fundings. Investing in multiple directions at once including workforce planning, use of the latest devices and technology, data and telecom expenses amongst many other expenses demands an organized budgeting scheme.
2. Compliance and regulatory issues
Every organization strives to secure its business data and assets. With the onset of remote working and enterprise mobility, startups are challenged to take measures to ensure all employees comply with the security protocols. It becomes mandatory for organizations to plan regulation strategies to prevent data leakage and misuse of corporate devices.
3. Maintaining workforce productivity
Permitting employees to use unmanaged personal devices for work purposes leads to the threat of distraction and usage of unproductive resources. Startups struggle to ensure that their remote manpower is dedicated to working, without engaging in distractions via personal entertainment apps and tools. Similarly, organizations seek to automate tasks and unburden their IT teams of recurring manual work to improve overall work productivity.
4. Personal data privacy on employee-owned work devices
Several startups permit their employees to use their personal laptops, tablets and smartphones for office work. The key challenge that startups face is to ensure that the business data does not merge with employee’s private data. Organizations need to ensure the implementation of security and management policies that are restricted to work apps and profiles and do not disrupt the user’s privacy.
Businesses all over the world trust Mobile Device Management (MDM) solutions to secure their critical business data and manage endpoint devices efficiently with reduced manual efforts. While several small businesses show reluctance towards the adoption of MDM solutions owing to the initial investment costs, startups are gradually realizing that implementing MDM solutions is, in fact, beneficial for their organization as it helps them reduce operational costs and optimize workforce efficiency.
Why are MDM solutions beneficial to startups?
1. Curb early startup costs
Startup culture endorses non-traditional work methods including flexible work locations, flat-hierarchy, enabling employees to work on their own devices (BYOD) and more. Partnering with MDM solutions can enable startups to containerize their business tools and data securely on the employee’s device. This ensures that all the management and security policies being pushed on the device are limited only to work apps and profiles, without merging with personal data. Not having to invest in physical and individual mobile devices for employees goes a long way in reducing the overall costs of any organization. Investing in MDM solutions to manage your organization’s work devices helps businesses to save on costs associated with device inventory tracking, implementing security strategies and performing detailed monitoring of device vitals.
2. Secure business secrets
Every organization that permits remote working, or has a frontline workforce, faces the insecurity of their business data being leaked. Device theft or loss can cause confidential business data to fall in the wrong hands, threatening exposure of the company’s sensitive information.
MDM solutions offer an array of features and functionalities as follows:
Remote device lock: IT admins are empowered to remotely lock devices in event of theft or loss rendering the device non-usable.
Remote data wipe: IT admins can lock and wipe all business data on the device to ensure it does not land in the wrong hands.
Passcode policies: Employee-owned or company-owned devices can be protected with passwords to prevent unauthorized access.
Factory reset protection: Devices can be disabled with the option to perform a factory reset without authorization.
SIM-swap detection: Alerts can be automated to detect SIM swapping activities, which enables IT admins to instruct the policy to lock devices in event of SIM-card removal.
VPN-enabled access: Access to work apps and websites via VPN to prevent unauthorized use of business data.
3. Custom policies with tiered device management
MDM solutions offer a wide range of features that can be selectively used to build personalized policies which can be applied to an individual device or a group of devices. Modern-day MDM solutions cater to devices with diverse operating systems and can offer management policies specific to the employee’s role.
For instance, Logistics companies would want to have features such as location tracking of devices, data and network monitoring, remote support and easy communication. Whereas, educational organizations may want a more refined approach including website whitelisting, application management, easy content sharing, etc. Furthermore, the board of members and higher authorities of an organization may have lenient device policies with laid-back restrictions compared to the company’s executives. MDM solutions enable IT admins to design custom policies with tiered management.
4. Remote troubleshooting
With MDM solutions, an organization’s IT team can avail remote support services such as remote cast and control through which IT admins can take charge of the employee’s device screen remotely and help resolve issues faster. Instant communication suites affiliated with MDMs offer seamless communication enabling IT admins to reach out to employees faster to instruct them better in events of device or software breakdown. This feature saves tremendous on-site expenses and prevents prolonged device downtime.
5. Iron-grip on data usage
Devices enrolled with MDM solutions are capable of being minutely monitored for their vitals. This feature helps startups keep a tab on the data consumption happening on their work device fleet. This in turn enables organizations to tackle the challenge of high data costs. Not only data usage but several other granular factors such as storage space, activity logs, sim-removal, call logs can also be closely monitored.
6. App management
Start-ups can enforce additional cost-effectivity and device security by pushing selective work-specific apps on the employee’s work devices to prevent distractions and usage of unwanted applications and software. Additionally, specific websites can be whitelisted or blacklisted on the devices to restrict access to unknown and malicious sites. Modern-day MDM solutions enable IT admins of organizations to push Enterprise apps on users’ devices. If businesses have their personally developed, internal apps for employees, these can be pushed on the devices too in addition to the apps available on the device’s application store.
7. Content management
MDM solutions simplify content sharing in diverse formats via an easy-to-use dashboard. Whether you are working remotely, or are a frontline worker, sharing work-related files, presentations, images and videos becomes convenient and quick with managed devices. For BYOD, IT admins of startups can set policies that restrict the transfer of business files from managed profiles to unmanaged personal apps..
8. Location tracking
Organizations can be aware of their employee’s work device locations round the clock with the location tracking functionality. MDM solutions offer multiple options to tracking your device fleet such as GPS-based tracking, IP address-based tracking or setting customized Geofences. This feature comes in handy especially for Logistics companies and frontline workers who are always on the go.
9. Automate IT tasks
MDM solutions offer consolidated analytics of your device fleet to closely monitor their location, check vital parameters, set compliance alerts and much more. These can be viewed in the form of detailed reports that help IT admins identify potential problems that the devices can encounter and prevent them from happening. Furthermore, IT admins can pre-set workflows of several recurring tasks via MDM unified dashboards to automate processes such as compliance alerts, OS and app updates, data usage thresholds, etc. to reduce the manual burden and optimize productivity.
MDM solutions are a great way for startups to stop worrying about their security and device management needs. Implementing device and endpoint management solutions leads to increased productivity and better expense management. Modern-day MDM solutions offer appealing features which can be customized for your business requirements. Scalefusion is a leading MDM solution provider that extends device management solutions through an easy-to-use unified dashboard. Startups need not undertake cumbersome protocols and security measures anymore, Scalefusion ensures that your business data protection and device monitoring is covered efficiently.
Shambhavi is a Senior Content Writer at Promobi Technologies with prior experience in commercial writing, creative planning, product cataloging, and content strategizing. She is a "Biotechnologist turned writer" and believes that the inception of great ideas happens over coffee.