Debunking Mobile Device Management Myths

Andrew Bentley


When adopting mobile device management (MDM) for the first time, there are often concerns around implementation and whether or not it’s even required. We regularly get asked questions about mobile device management. In order guide you in the right direction, we’ve put assessed some of the most common myths and queries regarding mobile device management. On the surface, some of these queries may seem to have an apparent answer but should always be asked, let’s take a look.

Isn’t Mobile Device Management free?

True: MDM is free.

If a company offers a free version of their product, you have every right to be sceptical about paying for a version if it does the same thing. In the MDM world, there are two ways that businesses get caught out.

The first is that genuinely some mobile device management solutions are free. With a free solution however, you only get basic insights and management. This type of solution isn’t charged for because it’s information that is generally available through your mobile provider.

The second is mobile device management trails. Typically, a week or month trial is available for IT Managers to get to know the look and feel or their management interface. Trials are a great way of demoing the technology available and showcasing what MDM can do for your business. However, lots of trials get cancelled after their free period. This is usually because clients don’t see any immediate benefit.

As with any free trial, it is worth remembering that the features available in a trial period will be limited compared with paid versions. Having said that, free trials are undoubtedly useful for getting a first impression of a user interface and the capabilities of a product.

There is no immediate benefit to MDM

True and false: this varies dependent on your individual circumstances, some businesses see a benefit from day one. For others, it takes time to realise the benefits.

Mobile device management is an investment. In order to keep your devices secure and manage costs, you must first establish trends on your employees behaviour on their device. With many MDM solutions powerful analytics and intelligence assess what technology is being used, how often and the cost effectiveness of this usage. But, since MDM gathers data and then pinpoints trends, it needs time to realise patterns and audit technology that is heavily, lightly or not used.

You don’t need to get a paid version

False: to get the  full benefits of a MDM solution, you need to be looking at business grade features and functionality, not free add-ons from your provider.

Rather than basic information that you could extract from a bill or an online portal, paid versions of mobile device management solutions provide a wealth of benefits. Some of these advantages include:

  • Remote support features such as remote view,  file sync, and 2-way chat
  • Kiosk mode restricts a mobile device to a single application or suite of applications, keeping the device secure
  • Automatic device connectivity to ensure the user is always able to communicate
  • Enterprise grade content and application management
  • Over the top installation, configuration, updates, and removal of apps from your enterprise or public app store
  • Express enrollment via barcode scanning or NFC Bump
  • Integration with device OEM rapid enrollment solutions like Apple Device Enrollment Program

MDM is unethical

False: this is a common misconception where people wrongly believe that mobile device management is akin to spying on users.

A common worry is that implementing mobile device management is intrusive to the user. An app is installed onto their business device, which enables access to remote support features and constant communications syncing. You can set up rules and block sites for usage, but the solution does not read files, messages or data usage. Whereas some people believe that mobile device management is used by employees to watch their employees, mobile device management is focused more on security and synchronisation to improve business device performance.

MDM is not secure

False: at a base level MDM aims to improve security so it is the very opposite of being unsecure.

Businesses implement mobile device management to keep their mobile devices secure. In business, if one mobile device is breached, your entire estate could be impacted. For many IT professionals, the ability to secure smartphones and tablets is the primary reason for investing in MDM. IT administrators can centrally enforce security policies on all mobile devices supported by the software, controlling settings such as password restrictions, data encryption and feature selection.

MDM can be bypassed

False: MDM cannot be bypassed.

Once mobile device management is installed onto a business device, it is there to protect your business. There are no ghost apps or alternative proxys that a user can download. When it comes to business grade solutions, these are fully secured onto a device for constant two-way communication. There simply is no way to bypass MDM other than using another device.

When evaluating any new mobile device management solution for your business you need to be thorough with your research and questions. If you have any further queries about mobile device management then get in touch.

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