In many companies, employees need to be able to access business applications and data anytime, anywhere. In some cases, the employers provide the mobile devices themselves, in some cases the employees’ private smartphones, tablets, etc. are used. For this reason, more and more companies are introducing Mobile Device Management (MDM) solutions: According to a forecast, nine out of ten companies will be there by 2017. MDM helps to manage the variety of devices and to secure company data with the help of guidelines and technical means.
Definition: what is mobile device management anyway?
The following tips support you in successfully implementing a corresponding solution:
1. Choosing the right provider
There are numerous MDM providers on the market that differ more or less in their solution. When making your selection, you should make sure that the solution can be seamlessly integrated into the overall infrastructure – regardless of whether as an on-premise solution or as software-as-a-service (SaaS).
2. Mobility strategy
The starting point of any MDM project is a careful analysis of the current situation:
- What role does mobility play within the company?
- To what extent do employees use their personal devices for work purposes and how important is such an offer to them?
- How should MDM generally be embedded in the general workplace strategy?
- What are the goals on the agenda?
Also include future requirements of your company and your employees.
3. Bring Your Own Device or Company Devices?
Determine whether employees are allowed to use their private devices for work or whether they should only be able to use their own company offers. Many companies offer both variants and leave this decision to their employees.
It is also important to clarify which employee is allowed to use a mobile device at all and which access rights he is given to the company network.
4. Define usage guidelines
One of the most important functions of an MDM solution is the enforcement of usage guidelines in order to secure the end devices, including data and applications: This includes, for example
- Rules for the separation of professional and private use,
- access to internal and external data,
- Password provisions
- and in an emergency – such as loss or theft – external control of the devices.
In addition, the company should reserve the right to delete the data on the end device at any time.
5. Integrate the works council
In addition to the technical implementation, legal and organizational aspects must also be taken into account: From a legal point of view, these are contract adjustments or usage agreements that cover the obligations and rights of employees and employers, pecuniary benefits and telecommunications secrecy.
From an organizational point of view, it is advisable to speak to all relevant departments. So involve the works council as well as the communications and human resources department at an early stage. In this way, you can coordinate data and employee protection, staff training, user support and accompanying communication measures.
6. User support and advice
Introducing an MDM solution is less about the technology and more about the employees. Therefore: get them on board as early as possible. Explain the new mobility strategy to them and offer them training courses. Some employees may have to get used to the new devices and how to use them.
7. First the pilot phase, then the rollout
My recommendation: start with a pilot project before rolling out the MDM solution across the company. A limited number of test users helps to uncover any errors and to check the usability and feasibility of the solution.
In this phase, user behavior can still be tested relatively easily and improved if necessary. When the rollout starts, you should definitely accompany it with communication measures. This is how you ensure the integration of employees.