Tips for Using Mobile Devices in Business

On smartphones and iPads there are more and more sensitive corporate data, the loss of which can be annoying to expensive. In addition, there are apps that may disturb the corporate network under certain circumstances. Remedy is Mobile Device Management (MDM). Aagon Consulting lists ten tips for proper handling:

First, the question should be asked who needs a Mobile Device Management at all. A rule of thumb is that the use of a classic client management system for the administration of workstation PCs somewhere between 20 to 50 computers starts to pay off. This formula no longer applies to smartphones and tablets as soon as sensitive company data is stored on the devices. Because unlike the PC on the desk, the mobile devices are regularly on the go with their users – and are lost, stolen or “borrowed” by third parties.

Device provision by the company

Anyone who is unable to remotely lock or delete the affected smartphone or tablet in the event of a loss easily deliv- ers sensitive data into foreign hands – even if it is “only” company-internal emails. For mobile devices, therefore, even with only a few mobile devices should at least a rudimentary MDM should be present in order to be able to react in case of the case.

Bring your own device (BYOD) is currently on everyone’s lips and is often cited by software vendors as a reason why companies should buy a mobile device management system. But BYOD, according to Aagon on closer inspection for companies is not necessarily the better alternative. Because the superficial savings in the procurement of the terminals (if they are really bought by the user himself, which is the exception, at least in this country) is quickly ruined by a much more complex management and especially by legal and administrative challenges. It is better if the company itself procures the desired end devices and makes these available to its employees – with very precise guidelines also for private use.

Anyone who administers mobile devices will in most cases restrict certain areas of use. For example, businesses might disable the camera’s operation in security-sensitive areas, prohibit the installation of unwanted applications, require a password-locked screen on the smartphone, or erase data on the device if it suspects theft.

Anyone who would like to do this as a company on the device privately procured and paid for by a member of staff, will soon find it incomprehensible. If, on the other hand, the company buys their employees the latest iPhone and allows them to use it privately within certain rules of the game, this is likely to generate a predominantly positive reaction and motivate employees.

Homogeneity instead of device growth

When companies themselves decide on the choice of mobile devices, they have, among other things, control over which devices are used with which operating systems. In this way, a relatively homogeneous mobile infrastructure can be created – with correspondingly simplified administration.

For example, those who only have to manage iPhones of the fourth generation with iOS 6 are much easier than a company that offers a variety of devices from HTC, Samsung, Apple and Blackberry with different storage capacities, screen resolutions, processors and with just 24 different Android versions since Android 2.0 , several versions of iOS and various variants of the BlackBerry OS must support.