MDM benefits include saving time, saving money, and offering a better user experience to your employees. But the benefits of MDM don't end there.
But first: what is Mobile Device Management (MDM)?
If you're reading this, you probably have at least an idea of what MDM does. In a nutshell, MDM allows IT to manage multiple devices of multiple types in multiple locations from a central hub.
Automated mobile device management is essential for large and small businesses, and especially so in our current security environment. A good MDM will not only allow IT to push out updates, settings and apps, but it also plays a critical role in security, compliance and even job satisfaction. More on that later.
Want more in-depth information about MDM? Read our blog post "What is MDM."
What is the purpose of an MDM system?
An MDM simplifies IT work. With the proper MDM system in place, you can:
- Reduce pressure on IT and improve end-user productivity. Automating repetitive tasks frees up IT for higher-level tasks. And end users don't have to stop working to wait for updates or applications.
- Reduce risk. Automation doesn't only speed up workflows; it also removes human error from the equation.
- Detect and report high-risk or non-compliant devices. With the proper policies and settings, at-risk devices can be automatically sandboxed before an attack can occur.
- Provide superior support for BYOD. Keep your organization safer and employees happier by managing only the work-related portion of BYOD phones.
- Improve TCO and ROI. Automated security, app and status reports result in less damage, replacement and maintenance costs; automated device lifecycle workflows and improved employee productivity also benefit ROI.
What are some of the top benefits of MDM?
"Security" might not be the first thing organizational leaders think of when considering Mobile Device Management but an MDM is the foundation for any security products you add— and should be a key component of your security plan.
Think about what you want to secure: data, networks, devices and access. While an MDM shouldn't be your only form of defense from cybercrime, it can go a long way before you even add endpoint protection to your stack. (Which, for the record, is not optional. Every business needs endpoint protection.)
A properly configured MDM can protect:
- Data, from unauthorized users
- Devices, by enforcing compliance with security measures and allowing access to even authorized users only as needed
- Employees, by ensuring that no one can access their devices when they are working in public places.
Increased productivity and efficiency
It's easy to see how an MDM increases productivity and efficiency for IT by streamlining management and automating tasks. But did you know that it has a ripple effect on the entire organization?
When you choose the right MDM, staff can update their apps and operating systems on their own, with prompts. This keeps devices better up-to-date and removes waiting times for routine maintenance. If the MDM you choose has something like Jamf's proprietary Self Service online app catalog, staff can download vetted productivity and creator apps they need on their own. Do they need it? They download it and go immediately to work with no waiting.
It's easy to see why using an MDM service saves time— which, as they say, is money. In addition, a good MDM optimizes resources. It ensures all devices are consistently in working order, ensures that your organization doesn't own licenses for software that isn't being used and allows employees to work wherever they can get the most done.
MDM can also allow your organization to offer swift access to remote work and even keep your IT department from having to touch new devices— they can be shipped directly to new staff at their home offices, already identified as your organization's device and loaded with what they need to get started quickly.
Remote workers save organizations money by reducing their need for office space. Studies also show that remote employees work longer hours and at increased efficiency— doing more in less time. A powerful MDM solution can enable their productivity even more.
MDM is for every organization
Businesses large or small; in the office, field, or air all benefit from effective Mobile Device Management. Here are a few examples.
Aviation: American Airlines
Using Jamf Pro, front-line team members at American Airlines have expanded their use of mobile devices for everyday work across many jobs, including:
- Digital flight bags for pilots
- Point-of-sale and access to American Airlines' portal for flight attendants
- Digital tech ops for airline mechanics
- Mobile portal access for gate agents, eliminating wasted time and increasing customer satisfaction
Watch the American Airlines section of the JNUC 2022 keynote address below for an overview, or read this more in-depth blog post on how American Airlines uses the Jamf platform.
Midsized business, global reach: SafetyCulture
SafetyCulture is a workplace safety inspection solution provider based in Australia, with offices worldwide. When they needed management for 400 devices worldwide in five locations, they turned to Jamf. Jamf provided seamless device management and great improvements in their remote onboarding experience for new employees.
Large enterprise: SAP
SAP is the market leader in enterprise application software, with 77% of the world’s transaction revenue touching an SAP system. SAP uses Jamf Pro to manage more than 24,000 Macs, 16,000 iPads, 67,000 iPhones and 230 Apple TVs. They also use Jamf Pro as their MDM provider to enhance employee experience.
More industries, uses and stories
- Education: learn how the University of Glasgow has embraced Jamf in its effort to manage and secure its Apple fleet while achieving the coveted Cyber Essential+ certification.
- Retail: discover how GOAT, the world's largest platform for buying and selling classic and rare sneakers, manages more than 1,000 devices with a staff of two. Or, take a look at how Daniel Wellington and Rituals manage their retail and corporate Macs, iPhones and iPads.
- Field services: read now Total Comfort and Abbeydale Building Environment Consultants support their field staff with Jamf Now as their MDM provider.
Choosing the right MDM service
If you, as we at Jamf do, believe that Apple is the best choice for business, you'll need to take a close look at which MDM to choose. There are a few things to consider:
Cost: the whole picture
Some providers offer packages that appear to be lower-priced than competitors at first, but taking a look at overall cost rather than the cost of one product will serve your business better. Will you have to pay more with add-in products? What is included in the offering? If you'll need to also purchase an app management or reports solution and shoehorn in endpoint management from a non-Apple-focused provider, be sure to include those costs (and the costs of maintaining a disparate environment) into consideration. Does the solution have a proven history of increasing ROI and TCO? Are they a trusted, established organization with easy access to support and the assurance of longevity? These factors all affect costs.
Integrations and partnerships
Does the MDM solution you are considering integrate with your existing technology? How about your industry-specific tech needs such as special tools for education, seamless integration with your healthcare organization's EHR or powerful, enhanced BYOD features?
As mentioned earlier, an MDM is the foundation of any solid security plan. But how does the provider you choose integrate with other needed services? Do they offer a seamless experience? Consider:
- Endpoint protection, as well as threat protection and remediation
- Encrypted network connections
- Identity and access management
- Content filtering
- Application and inventory management
How well does the software provider you choose for your MDM really know Apple? Apple devices and operating systems are distinct from PC. We suggest sticking with an organization like Jamf that knows the ins and outs of Apple and has a close working relationship with them. A more general-use provider that has created their products for a larger ecosystem and then added on Apple later could cause trouble down the line. Not only will these systems be less efficient, but a system built initially for PC will remove much of the Apple user experience that is part of the reason you chose Apple in the first place.
Read our blog post for a deeper dive into choosing the right MDM solution for you. (Spoiler alert: we think it's probably Jamf!)
The future of Mobile Device Management
As the business world changes, so will top-notch MDM services. The interconnected reality of management systems as well as rising threats from bad actors means that MDM will have to do more, offer more and partner more. Expect to see an increased focus on MDM as mobile security in the coming years as well as a wrap-around service made of many layers that we call Trusted Access.
MDM and you
Hopefully, by now I've convinced you that an MDM is essential for managing any organization's devices. Now that you have a better idea of what to expect from a solid MDM provider and what factors to consider, you're better armed with the knowledge you need to get MDM implementation started at your organization.
We humbly suggest a company that understands your needs, offers top-notch support and has more than twenty years of experience providing MDM for Apple: Jamf.
Start the process of implementing an MDM today.
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