Mobile devices have been there now for long and have become an inseparable part of our lives. They have made communication so powerful, easy and affordable. Nowadays, organizations consider more of these handheld devices for their internal and external communication. Mobile device management is becoming their solution to capture data and information.
Also, there is an ever increasing use of mobile devices in IT industry.
According to a source, there are almost 20 billion mobile devices connected to the internet today which means there are 3 devices in use per single user. Out of this population, 94% of the users are using smartphones, and 41% use tablets for work. The use of mobile devices has overpowered the use of desktops in the last two decades. Mobile devices have today become a primary source to access the internet as compared to desktops.
With such massive use of mobile devices in the corporate world, there is at least one mobile app being used by a 91% population of mobile device users.
There was a time when desktops were considered as primary IT assets and managed. However, today mobile devices have overpowered desktops. This means they also need to be managed and maintained as they fall under IT asset management.
Just like any other asset of an organization, mobile devices are equally important. They also require IT asset management through the life-cycle. They are like any other asset in an organization, required to be monitored, maintained, and tracked. This is efficiently done through mobile device management or IT asset management to protect them from any kind of loss or theft.
Below are a few questions that need to be addressed considering the excessive use of mobile devices in organizations nowadays:
- How to manage mobile devices physically?
- How to keep track of the installed applications?
- How to manage and track the data being used?
- Does the existing IT asset management support mobile device management?
In the future, handheld devices are taking the place of fixed devices. Now, they need IT asset management more considering the usage and comfort zone of users/employees.
What is Mobile Device Management?
As per Wikipedia, mobile device management is the industry term for the management of mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops.
The aim of mobile device management is to provide an increase in device supportability, security, and functionality while maintaining its adaptability.
There are some core functions of mobile device management mentioned below:
- The mobile device is very versatile due to its consistent use and support of applications and functions. Therefore, mobile device management ensures its diverse usage.
- Ensures device updates of its functions, applications, etc.
- Ensures the consistent use of applications in the device.
- Enables consistent performance of the mobile device.
- Monitors and tracks the device for its location, status, ownership, activities, etc.
- It helps in diagnosing and solving the device troubles efficiently.
Benefits of Mobile Management for ITAM
The technology has evolved vastly in the past few decades and provided many powerful creations like mobile phones, tablets, laptops, and many other devices which are mobile in nature and can be carried and used anywhere.
However, there are many who are not aware of the benefits of mobile device management and its capabilities.
There are several benefits centered to protect the integrity and data of the organization. A few of them are mentioned below:
For every organization, aligning with regulatory compliance is mandatory. It provides security to all mobile devices, reporting their capabilities to allow network integrity. The mobile device management enables compliance to be monitored and tracked from a centralized location. This makes the management simpler and the solution more economical.
Check on Device Life Cycle
Like any other asset of an organization, a mobile device also has a life-cycle and has to tracked and managed for its optimum usage and profitability. From its acquisition until its disposal, the device requires regular maintenance checks as well. This is made easy through device management.
It was normal practice for organizations to provide devices to their employees. Nowadays, there is an increasing trend of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device). This also saves huge costs for the organization obviating the need to purchase the devices and obtaining the productivity benefits as well.
- Over a period of time, the old policy has died down slowly, with organizations allowing data to be shared with their employees such as email, calendars, etc.
- Therefore, focused management of handheld devices is not necessary when such devices are being used by the employees themselves.
The mobile devices automatically have an exchange of huge data subjected to security, privacy, compliance, etc. so to acknowledge the location and proper use of handheld devices. Device management has thus become evident to secure data from theft or loss.
It is a permanent focus to manage the costs of the company. Costing is a major factor in acquiring and disposing of assets. Similar is the scenario for mobile devices. Cost management is required as primary attention.
As the mobile device does not work standalone, it needs basic accessories like SIMs or mobile contracts to link them and connect to the IT network of the organization. There might be capital or operational expenditure on the software installed in the device. Such purchase costs need to be recorded and monitored.
Remote Management of Device
One of the best and important benefits is to manage and track mobile devices and users remotely. With remote management of mobile devices, you can get a report 24 hours. There is thus no need to worry about their security. Remote management also allows disconnecting any unauthorized person or application from the device.
Regulated Device Updates
Keeping all the devices up-to-date is a vital element to consider a point of security. With mobile device management, it is very easy to update devices from a centralized location of control. Security is thus managed at its best.
Convenience of IT Asset Management Provides Mobile Device Management
Planned Purchase and Deployment
Implementing IT asset management allows you to know what assets you possess and what they are being used for. In a continuous activity, ITAM helps in implementing informed decisions regarding the purchase and deployment of assets for future operations. This may include particulars like the approved vendor, requisite product quality, post-sale support, etc. This process improves the overall decision-making process for acquiring the resources.
License and Subscription Compliance
The biggest challenge of ITAM and mobile device management is tracking licenses and subscriptions for the assets and devices. It is important to acknowledge what an organization is paying for, what they really need to buy, and when or if the purchase is really warranted. If such decision-making is not followed seriously, it can entail a huge financial fallout.
Cost of Ownership
As discussed above, only the cost management of IT assets is not sufficient. These assets have to be operated in an optimized manner and aligned for maintenance when required through their entire life-cycle to create value for the organization. Therefore, it involves the total cost of acquiring and operating the asset.
Mobile device management has become a vital part of businesses these days considering the widespread use of mobile devices. It is interesting to note that 53% of the employees say mobile devices and the installed software or applications make their work very and effective.
It greatly enhances business processes and works productivity. So, moving with the times, it is necessary to manage assets, especially when they are mobile in nature.