About 80% of today’s workforce uses a smartphone to do at least part of their job.
Any company with employees working on mobile devices should be thinking about how efficient and safe this is – especially today with more employees working from varied locations.
Real-time communication and remote working capabilities are important, but the more employees rely on mobile phones for work, the more problems and security risks pop up.
This is where Enterprise Mobility Management solutions come in.
What is Enterprise Mobility Management?
Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) is an umbrella term for a group of technology and data protection processes.
Some of the services an EMM solution can include are:
- Mobile Device Management (MDM) for security enforcement
- Mobile Application Management (MAM) for managing software
- Mobile Information Management (MIM) for authorising access permissions
- Mobile Content Management (MCM) for controlling storage of corporate data
- Mobile Expense Management (MEM) for overseeing data costs
Most EMM packages include MDM, MAM, and MIM as the minimum, but the individual services can be combined in different ways according to specific business needs.
Individual businesses set their own levels of security and data control for employees using mobile devices for work.
How does it work?
Portable work devices need just as much security as devices kept permanently in-office.
The range of mobile devices and extent of their potential usage can make managing them remotely a difficult problem.
EMM simplifies things by integrating mobile devices into a secure corporate network to prevent misuse and security breaches.
All devices that can access corporate systems remotely from outside the office should be protected with EMM, including:
- Wireless printers
- Wireless scanners
- Wearable devices (e.g. smart watches)
You might not think about the potential risks of employees accessing data on these devices from anywhere outside the security of the office, but without EMM protective measures in place they’ll be opening your business to dangerous malware.
Some of the services EMM uses to prevent this potential data theft include:
- Remote configuration
- Mobile data encryption
- Password lock enforcement
- Conditional access management
- Monitoring and updating software
- Geolocation tracking
- Tracking security threats in real time
- Remote data wiping
Without software processes like this, data breaches can cost your business extensively – both your finances and your long-term reputation.
What are the benefits?
In addition to protecting your business against costly data losses, there are many other benefits of EMM:
- Centralized system keeps everything secure in one place
- Services multiple device types and operating systems
- Real-time access speeding up analysis and decision-making
- Better cross-level communication means better collaboration
- Efficient distribution of resources lowers costs and improves satisfaction
- Increases engagement and productivity of employees
- Remote installation and upgrading of software
- Troubleshooting and customer support outside of IT department
Overall, EMM saves time and operational costs and boosts user satisfaction, resulting in increased profits and empowered employees.
All these benefits go hand in hand with making your business data remotely accessible while keeping it secure.
How you can set up Enterprise Mobility Management
Your company will need to integrate EMM with existing applications and policies so they align with your business objectives.
Employees will also need training to understand how EMM is used before you deploy it company-wide.
Before searching for an EMM provider, you’ll need to think about:
- The services your business provides
- Where you want the company to be in 5-10 years
- Which EMM solutions you’d need for which people
- Who needs access to what, and how they’d access it
- Which operating systems and devices employees already use
- Who would be responsible for developing EMM strategies
- How you’d comply with local laws and industry regulations
- Which pain points could potentially cause issues
- How you’d implement EMM (on premises or cloud-based)
Having answers for these questions will help you to identify the best EMM solution for your business.
It’s an important decision, which is usually made on a case-by-case basis according to company device guidelines and usage activities.
The final deciding factor will be your budget, as tiered EMM subscription services offer various packages for increasing prices.
Larger EMM operators tend to offer more expensive suites with pre-selected features, but they come with more comprehensive customer support.
A single-console EMM solution like IBM MaaS360 for business phones is often the easiest answer.
An EMM system like this, tailored to your business, will get you the secure mobile capabilities you need without the complications.