You've witnessed the troubled beginnings and controversial outcomes of the mobile device management movement, but as any IT leader should, you also have an obligation to power through the challenges presented by this trend. Many organizations have dedicated a significant portion of their expertise and budgets to the development of optimal mobile strategies, and you aren't alone in thinking there's a shortage of best practices to help guide you through the fog that surrounds the world of MDM. Like any overarching IT trend, a bit of trial and error is necessary to break through initial pain points.
However, enterprise mobility has come far enough that you can rely on a handful of tools and techniques to at least get your initiatives off the ground without significant setbacks. Here are four essential features that must be a part of your strategy if you want to ensure a high-performing and cost-effective mobile outlook for your organization.
1. Visibility across the mobile network: According to a recent article from TechTarget, a lack of insight into mobile connectivity and performance is one of the biggest obstacles to facilitating effective MDM initiatives. Make sure your solution features a robust inventory management component to track individual devices and plenty of monitoring tools to ensure end users are holding up their end of the bargain in terms of policies. These functions should offer a real-time view of the network so administrators don't waste any time addressing problems or adjusting policies.
TechTarget also pointed out that visibility should go deeper than surface-level device management, and include details on the functionality of individual applications and workflows. Understanding which apps are struggling to make the leap to mobile is key when optimizing your extended networks and ensuring quality performance across the board.
2. BYOD functionality for all end users: Today's end users eagerly adopt the latest tablets and smartphones as a way to prove their tech savvy and remain on the cutting edge. With more workers using their personal hardware to access work-related apps and data, it's more crucial than ever that you facilitate fluid BYOD policies and make it easy for employees to quickly swap devices out for upgrades. An article from FedTech Magazine pointed out that you should remain prepared for any upgrades that end users may bring to the table by keeping an eye on burgeoning consumer trends.
"Our evaluations never end," said DJ Kachman, director of mobile technologies and client security for the VA's Enterprise Systems Engineering office, according to the source. "Part of my team's responsibilities is to meet with new vendors and look at new technologies. We never rest."
3. Dedicated mobile security measures: Everyone in the IT arena has raised concerns about the cybersecurity implications of mobile strategy, and for good reason - many early MDM solutions lacked adequate protective measures for user devices and left critical data up for grabs. It's critical that you promote stringent security across mobile devices and their applications to reduce these risks.
"MDM is evolving in many interesting ways, and enhanced security capabilities are one of the most important examples," said Eric Klein, senior analyst at VDC Research, according to FedTech Magazine.
4. Support from cloud and VM instances: Mobile success hinges largely on the data center optimization efforts you orchestrate behind the scenes, and virtualization is one of the most groundbreaking trends to date in terms of enhancing the MDM blueprint. If you haven't yet layered virtual machines onto your physical server assets or find yourself a step behind the times with regard to cloud computing migration, consider these upgrades a key element of your mobility plan and kick these initiatives into high gear.