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Tips for Effective Mobile Device Management


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August 24, 2011

Tips for Effective Mobile Device Management

By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor

The enterprise today is increasingly relying on mobile devices to drive corporate initiatives. Professionals are increasingly on-the-go and the corporate approach to IT management must include room for mobile device management. 

This recent white paper from Forrester (News - Alert) entitled, “Fifteen Mobile Policy Best Practices”, explores the importance of mobile device management and what it means for the enterprise today. This paper is the culmination of six months of working with 121 enterprise clients to develop or refine their mobile device management policies, in order to meet the changing requirements in this space. 

Forrester encourages its clients to take a three-step approach to defining their computing strategies for next-generation mobile devices. They first must assess the needs of the workforce. Next, they need to invest in the right mobile device management and security solution. Finally, they need to build or revisit the mobile policy. 

Best practices in mobile device management should engage the business to understand their mobile requirements, and determine the varying levels of service and support options for the segmented workforce. It is also important to reserve the right to manage all mobile devices with access to corporate resources, such as PCs. 

Mobile device management also benefits from a focused effort by your organization on protecting the integrity and privacy of corporate data by effectively isolating it from personal data. It is also important to enforce strong security policies to prevent data security breaches. Your IT department should also consider disabling features and user activities in areas that are heavily regulated. 

Organizations seeking to drive mobile device management should also extend acceptable use policies to all mobile devices, both current and future. In the process, they should also determine a tiered reimbursement policy for voice and data services costs. The proactive monitoring of ongoing voice and data usage expenses can also ensure the effective management of all mobile devices so they continue to lend value to the organization instead of becoming a liability.

 Forrester also recommends that those organizations seeking effective mobile device management should determine how their users will be provisioned with enterprise-class applications. It is a wise move to require that all users back up their own personal data to protect themselves in the event of a loss. Anything that falls outside of I&O’s technology control should be baked into policy. 

Efficient mobile device management also requires that users understand and agree to an acceptable use policy. This policy should address the consequences for noncompliance, while also providing examples. The policy should be reviewed on an annual basis to ensure it continues to meet your strategic corporate goals.

Mobile device management is key in keeping all mobile devices safe and secure at all times.

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Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMCnet and has also written for To read more of Susan’s articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Jamie Epstein

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