Best Practices for Mobile Device Management (MDM)

The use of mobile devices, including tablets and smartphones, within BENNEB has become more prevalent than ever. As a result, IT teams have been required to manage purchasing, maintenance, services, and inventory of these devices. In fact, many users have fully incorporated the use of the devices, as well as the applications, into their daily lives, blending activities like Web browsing and corporate email as BENNEB continues to harbor more line-of-business applications onto mobile devices. It is imperative that mobile devices work properly. According to VDC’s 2007 research, each time a device fails, the end user loses an average of 75 minutes of productivity (Krebs, 2007). As a result, it is essential that BENNEB adopt a few best practices for mobile device management (MDM).
(Krebs, 2007)

First, the IT department needs to be able to track, monitor, and restrict network usage. After all, costs for both data roaming and domestic usage can quickly add up. Additionally, IT must be able to maintain compliance with these devices and enforce all security protocols. Making decisions and calculating risks regarding mobile devices is difficult if you are not able to maintain data on them. It is essential to implement a reporting and inventory tool to track how mobile devices are being used and by whom. Unfortunately, reporting is limited and not scalable, which means BENNEB’s IT department will have to develop and run reports manually and deal with the lack of a centralized view of all devices.

Employees rely on their mobile devices to do their jobs. If problems arise with the devices, it can cause issues with productivity. To prevent users from making a call to the Help Desk, the IT department can create a self-service portal, which will enable users to solve many of their own issues, such as reporting a device lost or stolen or resetting passwords. This will reduce the time and money spent by IT Help Desk employees.

Some economically sound best practices that BENNEB might consider include the following (IT Business Edge, n.d.):

  1. 1. Adopt a versatile MDM platform that can manage PCs as well as mobile devices. This will reduce infrastructure costs, improve operation efficiency, and “create a single user view into devices and data for operations and security.” Ensure that reporting and inventory tool consolidates existing mobile device and multi-platform MDM solutions. Data from these daily reports is vital to avoid the manual processing of business intelligence on mobile devices. In this case, BENNEB indicated that they did not really have any MDM solution in place, so the IT department will need to implement one, and they should invest in cloud-based MDM services. When accounting for the full Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), a LAN-oriented management solution is costly.
  2. Ensure vendor limits cell phone and tablet usage to certified and approved applications on corporate devices. BENNEB could do this by setting up its own enterprise application storefront, which will allow users to view a list of approved applications and ease their delivery to mobile devices, as well as provide the information for updates.
  3. Ensure there is a backup and recovery solution that includes encryption for users working with critical and exclusive data beyond email.

Regarding some of the issues in the New Data provided in the Total Cost of Ownership IT Business Case, there need to be some organizational, financial, and inventory items addressed. It is our opinion that there should be a resource analysis completed to decipher which employees are in need of mobile devices to carry out their job assignments. Clearly, some devices are not being fully utilized and have been purchased without this consideration, which is indicated in the case study by the lack of calls coming into the IT Help Desk. Once it is decided how many devices are needed, BENNEB needs to ensure that all free or discounted devices are being utilized first. If additional devices are needed, there needs to be a clear understanding of the needs of each of the qualifying employees in regard to what devices will be purchased in the future and for whom.

For instance, one of the free or discounted devices may not have all the features needed by an individual. We believe that it is important to purchase devices that are reasonably priced, possibly more rugged such as enterprise mobile devices, and work with the company’s current cell plan provider. BENNEB needs to assess whether purchasing the devices on a 24-month plan is beneficial to the organization or not. Finally, the current cell phone provider should probably be assessed as well to ensure that they are providing the most affordable and versatile services.

Image 1 is a graphical representation of the TCO of a mobile device. This image gives us an idea of the average annual costs of an Enterprise Mobile Device, including such things as voice & data, security, admin & training, WiFi, etc., which can get quite costly. Image 1: Enterprise Mobile Device TCO (Louden, 2016)

Mobile Device Costs

There have been 1858 miscellaneous mobile devices purchased over the past two years at an average cost of $663.00, totaling approximately $1,231,854.00, not including soft costs such as operational costs, productivity loss, opportunity loss, and IT support costs. According to VDC, soft costs can consume 90% of the MDM TCO, while hard costs, such as the device itself, might only account for 10% of the MDM TCO (Krebs, 2007). The initial cost of consumer-grade mobile technology may seem less expensive; however, enterprise-grade mobile devices are more rugged and may prevent excess soft costs, which will also lead to a reduction in downtime and loss of productivity.

Reference

  1. Barcoding (n.d.). Calculating Total Cost of Ownership: Mobile Devices. Retrieved on January 25, 2019, from https://www.barcoding.com/blog/calculating-total-cost-of-ownership-tco/
  2. IT Business Edge (n.d.). Twelve Best Practices for Mobile Device Management. Retrieved on January 25, 2019, from https://www.itbusinessedge.com/slideshows/twelve-best-practices-for-mobile-device-management-14.html
  3. Krebs, D. (2007 Jul). An Executive Brief: Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) Models for Mobil Computing and Communications Platforms,
  4. Second Edition. Retrieved on January 25, 2019, from file:///C:/Users/herzo/OneDrive/Documents/VDC-Research-Group-2027-mobile%20devices.pdf
  5. Louden, M. (2016, December 14). True Price of Mobile Device. Retrieved on January 25, 2019, from MOBI: https://mobiwm.com/announcements/total-cost-mobile-device/
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Best Practices for Mobile Device Management (MDM). (2023, Mar 15). Retrieved May 24, 2024 , from
https://supremestudy.com/best-practices-for-mobile-device-management-mdm/

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