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Mobile Device Management Explained

        posted by , December 17, 2011

Most organizations have opened their networks to a wide range of mobile devices. Some no longer require that each and every device be approved by the IT department. In some cases, employees are permitted to use their own devices at work. As a result, many organizations have an urgent need to manage a great number of heterogeneous mobile devices.

Mobile Device Management (MDM) tools offer a solution — enterprise management of heterogeneous mobile devices.

Provisioning and Support

One of the key selling points of MDM tools is their ability to lower support costs through automation. Common functions include:

software distribution

device update

application removal

the ability to block applications

Policy & Compliance Management

The ability to configure and enforce enterprise mobile policy.

Security Management

Mobile devices are a common source of information leakage. Numerous security threats and vulnerabilities must be managed across mobile platforms to protect a organization's networks. Common MDM security features include:

Jailbreak detection

Password policy

Device wipe

Remote lock

Audit log

Less common features include content filtering and automatic security incident response (automatically wipes a lost or stolen device).

Service Management

MDM service management rates telecom services. Reports can be generated that are useful for managing telecom vendors. In some cases data is generated that can be used to validate telecom bills.

Cost Control

Some MDM vendors offer cost control functionality that monitors usage and escalates against a cost policy.


Reporting on device inventory, security incidents, device status and service outages is provided out of the box by many MDM tools. Some organizations prefer to import data into data warehouses and build reports with in-house BI tools.

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