Avoiding snags in mobile management system selection

Before establishing a mobile management system, admins should weigh all their MDM vendor options, from client requirements and data backup capabilities to device and data encryption.

Vendors’ marketing hype often depicts software as ideal for your environment’s mobile management system requirements.

But in practice, problems can crop up. To avoid pitfalls in your MDM software assessment and deployment, consider the following suggestions:

  • Understand the requirements for MDM client software on devices. Some mobile device management (MDM) systems use agentless management, while others require agent-based management. Test an agent-based mobile management system on platforms you plan to support with a variety of applications to accurately assess the impact of the client software on the device.
  • Test full device encryption with supported apps. Encryption may interfere with the functions of some applications. It can be particularly challenging to test the full range of apps that employees have on their devices.
  • Segregate data types. If you want to avoid requiring full device encryption on employee-owned devices, use an MDM system that can segregate sensitive business data from personal data.
  • Understand the requirements for centralized components. These requirements may include management servers, proxies, relays and other supporting systems.
  • Test and evaluate. Determine whether the logging and reporting functions of the MDM technology are sufficient for your requirements.
  • More mobile management system resources

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    Back up devices. If mobile devices store business data, they should be backed up. This is especially important for recovery of data on a lost or stolen device. Consider how the mobile management system you choose can back up mobile devices, the flexibility of the management console for defining backup scripts, the ability of backup operations to recover from interrupted sessions.
  • Integrate data. Consider how data from an MDM program can be integrated with other parts of your mobile management system. MDM systems may use relational databases and publish either data models or application programming interfaces for accessing detailed information on device inventory, configurations, and operations.

Finally, plan your mobile management system evaluation and implementation based on your specific requirements.

About the Author

Dan Sullivan, M.Sc., is an author, systems architect, and consultant with more than 20 years of IT experience with engagements in advanced analytics, systems architecture, database design, enterprise security and business intelligence

This was first published in June 2012

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