Business features for mobile device management

On June 27, 2014

businessGone are the days of only C-level executives conducting business on company-issued smartphones. Many businesses now have the entire organization using mobile devices for work purposes.

Security and scalability are often the core concerns for businesses looking to better manage mobile device management (MDM), but user experience should also be at the top of the MDM wish list. The best features offer ease of use for employees while also ensuring company information is protected. Here’s a look at six features to consider as you’re launching an MDM program.

Security Management

Remember that ease of use should be front of mind, so try to limit any security features that will negatively affect the user experience by being too restrictive. Below are popular security options that are offered by most MDM suites:

  • Remote Device Wipe: If a device is lost or left unsecure, this feature allows you to erase data remotely.
  • Authentication: At minimum, users should need a PIN number to access their device. Companies dealing with more sensitive data and regulations may opt for a two-factor authentication.
  • Auto Locking: You can further help with password security by configuring an auto lock for inactive devices and locking devices after a set amount of failed login attempts.
  • Data Loss Prevention: Opt for a backup and recovery feature for instances when devices are damaged or lost.
  • Data Encryption: Keep sensitive data secure in the event of a compromised device.

Don’t feel as if you need to adopt every security feature available. Instead, look at how your company protects its desktops and laptops. This degree of security should be ample for mobile devices as well.

Multi OS Support

Unless you’re providing employees with identical devices all on the same operating system, you’ll need a multi-platform solution. Integration among all devices — not just mobile — is especially important in large organizations. In this case, look for an MDM suite that lets you manage mobile and desktops from one dashboard.

However, you can’t be expected to support every device out there. Many companies choose to exclude less popular devices and older models from Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) programs.

Don’t forget mobile is more than just smartphones, and you should think ahead for upcoming mobile trends and technologies. Also consider how you will need to support tablets, wireless printers and scanners, and future mobile devices (like smart watches).

Self-Service Options

In large corporations, the IT help desk can quickly become overwhelmed by a large volume of simple requests. Many mobile business solutions can relieve your IT team by allowing employees to enroll their own devices and oversee some basic management, like password reset and auto lock settings. This should definitely be a feature for employees using their own devices.

Business and Personal Data Separation

Limiting a mobile device to work-only usage is an unrealistic expectation (and near impossible). Consider containerization, which stores work and personal data in separate secure locations. This is an especially useful solution for BYOD programs, since it allows the employee to keep personal data exempt from corporate restrictions and monitoring.

App Management

If you want to restrict certain apps, consider setting up an app storefront that features mandatory or useful apps for employees, as well as approved apps. Not only will this allow you to clearly choose which apps are restricted and which can be freely used on corporate devices, but users will be able to use the storefront when they need to download updates.


Tracking and monitoring usage is essential for large-scale mobile device management. A reporting system is a must-have feature since running reports will allow your IT team to spot and address security and compliance issues. Furthermore, by analyzing how employees are using their mobile devices, you can decide which features and tools may be lacking (and which ones can be discarded).

As you can see, there’s a lot to consider when your business goes mobile. But with a thorough understanding of the available features and a checklist of your company’s priorities, you will have a successful mobile device management program operating in no time.