8 factors to consider when choosing a Mobile Device Management (MDM) solution

Woman in green blazer outside of an office building smiling at her mobile device that is safely managed with MDM


Can you imagine getting your day-to-day work done without a smartphone or tablet next to you? Many employees rely on their mobile devices for staying current with emails and messaging, taking care of tasks on the go, authenticating access to business systems, and getting work done anywhere at any time.

As companies increasingly adopt Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies and support people working in multiple locations (the office, at home, in a third place) with multiple devices, Mobile Device Management (MDM) has become essential. The devices your people use for work, whether in-office desktops/PCs or the laptops and smartphones employees use while working from home, must be enrolled, updated, supported, and kept secure for enabling productivity, compliance/security, and employee experience.

Once you decide that your organization needs a mobile device management solution, there are many factors to consider. Here are the 7 essential factors to help you determine the best MDM solution for your company’s needs.

Start with baseline requirements

Let’s begin by looking at 4 factors that any MDM solution (for any company) simply must have. If an MDM solution lacks any of these, that’s reason enough to reconsider.

1. Remote device management

Remote device management, a must-have MDM factor, can be used to deploy security updates and patches to enrolled devices, ensuring that they remain secure and up to date. If an enrolled device gets lost or stolen, your data security and compliance efforts can be compromised (or worse). A remote wipe feature can delete all data from the device to prevent sensitive information from reaching malicious actors.

2. User experience/ease of use

A well-designed MDM solution must strike a balance between ensuring functionality and usability. Your IT team will need to learn how to use the MDM solution you choose. If the MDM tool is too complex to learn and use, you won’t gain the benefits you need around security, compliance, and employee experience.

3. Multi-platform support to fit your BYOD policy

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies are increasingly common in today’s workplace. An important consideration is how an MDM solution works with the many types of devices/systems that your IT team will need to manage and support. Will your employees be required to enroll their personal devices in the company’s MDM program? If so, what level of access will the company have to personal data on these end user devices? It’s important that your MDM solution enables you to strike a balance between security and employee privacy when implementing a BYOD policy.

Perform an audit of the different types of devices your employees are using which you will need to enroll. Are these devices Windows, macOS, ChromeOS, Linux, iOS or Android, or is it a mix of all of the above platforms? Doing this device audit will directly impact the MDM tools and strategies you’ll need to implement. For example, we know that Apple devices tend to have more restrictive policies compared to Android devices. Select an MDM solution that is compatible with the devices/systems your people use and meets your security and compliance requirements (see factor #5).

4. Application management

Any MDM solution you consider must have the ability to manage and distribute applications to your enrolled devices in a secure and controlled manner. The solution’s Mobile Application Management (MAM) capabilities should help administrators to manage the installation, configuration, and updating of applications.

A primary objective of MAM is to ensure data security. MAM gives companies the essential control over work-related applications and the sensitive business data generated therein. This means you can protect company data at the app level versus controlling the whole device and apply policies to apps without touching personal data. (Keep in mind, iOS and Android will have different restrictions and functionality when it comes to what you can do and control.)

5. Reporting and analytics

Robust reporting and analytics capabilities are must-haves for any MDM solution. Your IT team needs the capacity to track potential security risks, device usage, and compliance with your company policies. Insights into device performance and usage patterns are invaluable because they help you avoid problems, optimize the company’s mobile strategy/efficiency, and improve productivity.

Next, consider customization requirements

Once you’ve defined the 5 must-haves for any MDM solution, you can begin evaluating how to customize the tool for the particular needs of your company, your IT team, and your end users/employees.

6. Relevant security and compliance requirements

Every industry and every company can have different requirements for compliance and security. Financial services, for instance, is a highly-regulated industry that manages sensitive customer data – the same is true for healthcare and patient data. Therefore, a healthcare or financial services company may need a more robust MDM solution.

Industries managing highly sensitive data may require additional security measures, such as more stringent device encryption or biometric authentication. Any MDM solution would need to support that extra complexity around applications and data governance/compliance.

7. Serving your strategic goals

Is one of your strategic goals for your MDM policy primarily to protect sensitive data, improve productivity and employee experience, or a blend of both? A well-designed MDM solution can help you achieve these strategic goals. For example, an MDM solution can restrict employee access to certain apps, thus improving productivity by preventing employees from getting distracted. At the same time, an MDM solution that requires strong passwords and encryption can protect sensitive data from unauthorized access.

8. Integrations

Integrations serve as an invaluable customization option for Mobile Device Management solutions, enhancing their functionality and adaptability to meet diverse organizational needs. By seamlessly integrating with various third-party tools and services, MDM solutions can extend their capabilities beyond traditional device management, resulting in a comprehensive and cohesive IT ecosystem.

For example, an integration between an MDM and a remote support tool yields benefits to existing IT workflows. Such an integration streamlines the troubleshooting and support processes, enabling IT teams to efficiently diagnose and resolve device-related issues remotely. This seamless connection between MDM and remote support tools empowers administrators to initiate real-time device diagnostics, apply necessary configurations, and implement updates with an integrated experience. As a result, IT professionals can ensure faster issue resolution, reduce downtime, and enhance overall productivity.

Furthermore, this integration minimizes the need for physical intervention, saving time and resources while enabling IT teams to manage devices efficiently and effectively from any location. In conclusion, integrations offer MDM solutions the flexibility to adapt to specific organizational requirements, while a seamless integration with remote support tools significantly improves IT workflows, ensuring optimal device management and support capabilities.

At the end of the day, choosing the right MDM solution for the needs of your company and its people requires careful consideration of the 8 factors described above. Understanding these factors and how they interact within your organization can help you choose the MDM solution that will best help your organization reach your goals. Start leveraging MDM tools to assist in protecting your sensitive data, improving productivity, and enhancing security.

Effectively and securely manage your devices today with GoTo Resolve MDM. And efficiently manage and support your entire IT infrastructure with all the goods GoTo Resolve has to offer in its all-in-one solution, including remote monitoring and management (RMM), remote support, remote access, zero trust security, and more.

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