Choosing Your Mobile Device Management(MDM) Provider

With so many devices, businesses need help managing it all (Photo via Contegix)

Business now requires people to be available and connected wherever they are. Smart phones, tablets, and laptops have brought enterprise into the modern world, but today's mobile workforce - and thus all of these devices - still needs to be linked into the corporate network. With so many devices, across a spectrum of company- to employee-owned (see our post on BYOD, CYOD, and COPE for more on that decision), IT departments need a way to oversee this growing network. Enter mobile device management (MDM) providers, here to help you with data security and configuration settings.

The first step to choosing your MDM provider is learning about industry leaders so that you can get a sense of industry standards. Gartner's 2014 Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Mobility Management Suites report locates providers on a quadrant given their completeness of vision and ability to execute; the "visionary + leader" contenders are:

  • AirWatch: "AirWatch® Mobile Device Management enables businesses to address challenges associated with mobility by providing a simplified, efficient way to view and manage all devices from the central admin console. Our solution enables you to enroll devices in your enterprise environment quickly, configure and update device settings over-the-air, and secure mobile devices."

  • MobileIron: "By providing an enterprise mobility management (EMM) solution that meets both user demands and IT needs, MobileIron is enabling organizations to become truly Mobile First. The MobileIron Platform allows IT to secure and manage devices, apps and content providing end-users with instant access to corporate data on a device of their choice."

  • Good Technology: "Holistically manage diverse mobility needs. Executives can use personal devices to access sensitive information via email, document editors, and business intelligence (BI) apps. Factory workers and other employees can use shared, corporate-owned devices to access training repositories."

Evaluations by Gartner can help give you a starting point, but every company has different needs. Here are some key areas to consider to narrow down your decision:

  • What is the device and OS support?

  • How will this MDM be integrated into your infrastructure and delivered (e.g. on-premise or cloud-based)?

  • What are your priorities for extended features and capabilities?

Visit this handy guide to answer these questions for the main MDM players and see how they may fit into your company's future.

Any other insights into choosing an MDM provider? Comment below to tell us about it!