Mobility Basics Part I: What exactly is… Mobile Device Management (MDM)?

In our new “Mobility Basics” series, we focus on various terms related to working with mobile devices. Today, we explain in a simple and understandable way what Mobile Device Management is, why it is useful and who needs it.

Mobility Basics: What is Mobile Device Mangagement

With Mobile Device Management, a large pool of mobile devices can be managed centrally.

What is Mobile Device Management (MDM)?

The term Mobile Device Management basically describes the central management and security of mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. This requires MDM software that provides various functions to make mobile devices suitable for business use. These functions, which Cortado MDM also offers, include: Setting password requirements and encryption, configuring e-mail, Wi-Fi, VPN and centrally deploying apps onto the devices.

Even if mobile devices are lost, an MDM helps. With an MDM solution, devices can easily be locked, located and, as a last resort, all sensitive data can be deleted remotely from the device.

Why is Mobile Device Management useful?

Mobile Device Management became highly important when iOS and Android devices were increasingly used for professional tasks (mostly reading and replying to e-mails). Administrators were confronted with an ever-increasing pool of end devices and at the same time reached their limits with the familiar means of central device management. One reason is that mobile devices are also used outside the secure corporate network, the other is that mobile operating systems have a different setup than traditional desktop operating systems.

Mobile Device Management essentially fulfils these two tasks:

  1. Simple setup of mobile devices: When it comes to integrating mobile devices – whether company-owned or private – MDM solutions save an incredible amount of time and effort. MDM enables employees to set up their own devices on their own with just a few clicks. The easiest option for administrators to configure email, WLAN or VPN on many corporate devices simultaneously is via Apple DEP or Android Zero-Touch. There is no need to configure each device individually. Apps can also be installed on many devices simultaneously with just a few clicks using an MDM system.
  2. Secure company data: Employees often do not have the necessary security awareness or knowledge to handle company data accordingly. Therefore, there is no way around an MDM if the company wants to ensure GDPR-compliant working. In addition to password requirements, remote wiping data and more, it also ensures that private and business data on the device remain strictly separated from each other.

Who needs Mobile Device Management?

Anyone who thinks that an MDM is only needed in large companies where many different mobile devices are in use is mistaken. Small businesses also benefit from MDM solutions as soon as employees use mobile devices – whether this is to read business e-mails or to simply use the company’s Wi-Fi. Only an MDM solution meets GDPR requirements and the company’s compliance standards.

Aren’t MDM solutions terribly complex?

Many companies do not fear the introduction of an MDM solution in itself, but rather the complexity of the systems and a high administrative effort. That may not be completely unjustified, but there are also simple MDM solutions such as Cortado MDM. A comprehensive MDM is available to you with just a few clicks within a very short time, which allows GDPR-compliant mobile working.

Another useful MDM definition is provided by Jack Madden in this article»

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