7 Common Mobile Device Management Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

These common mobile device management mistakes can mean the difference between success and failure.

mobile device management mistakes

Mobile device management (MDM) solutions can save hours manually updating, maintaining, securing and tracking handheld computers, smartphones, tablets, and other devices. But there are some common mistakes to avoid when you implement these solutions — otherwise, you can significantly reduce the benefits MDM can provide to your clients.

Here are seven pitfalls you can encounter as you implement MDM and suggestions for how to avoid them:

1Unclear objectives

An MDM solution empowers businesses to enforce mobile device policies that help keep their networks and data secure, keep employees on task, and control device and app use. But has your client clearly defined those policies?

Businesses need a corporate mobility policy that spells out which devices can be used, the mobile applications employees need to do their jobs and exactly what employees can access. Implementing an MDM solution without a clear strategy will create confusion and decrease the solution’s effectiveness.

2Poor deployment planning

When it comes to deploying an MDM or enterprise mobility management (EMM) solution, time is of the essence. Without a solid deployment plan, your client could experience downtime, a loss of productivity, and a lower rate of employee adoption.

The more efficiently and quickly you implement MDM, the sooner employees can learn it, build it into their workflows and see benefits.

3Usability vs. security in mobile device management

According to Verizon’s Mobile Security Index 2019, 48 percent of business professionals say they sacrifice mobile device security to meet business objectives. Furthermore, 64 percent of those who say they compromise have experienced downtime, and 83 percent agree that organizations need to take mobile security more seriously.

It’s true that leading MDM solutions enforce passcode use, identity verification, and data loss prevention, but they make these and other security features as user-friendly as possible. Work with your clients to strike a balance between usability and security.

4Unanticipated employee behaviors

Mobile users may try to get around security policies. They may jailbreak or root a smartphone or find other means to use devices in unauthorized ways.

A fatal mobile device management mistake is not educating users about how the solution supports corporate policies. Businesses also need to establish and communicate consequences for noncompliance with its policies and enforce them.

5Device updates

Over the lifetime of a mobile device, there will be multiple firmware updates that enable new features and continued security. But those updates can mean incompatibility with software applications installed on them.

You need to evaluate updates, make sure critical security patches are completed, but, in other cases, properly test devices before updating a mobile fleet to make sure that it won’t interfere with use.

6Management that’s harder than it has to be

Your client may potentially use multiple mobile application management (MAM) solutions, depending on the communications and other business applications they use.

The best scenario is to build a system of integrated solutions so administrators can use the MDM platform to manage all of them rather than moving back and forth between platforms.

7A set-it-and-forget-it approach to mobile device management

Perfectly executed mobile device management today won’t be sufficient tomorrow. There will always be new devices, new applications, updates, new security threats, new business processes and more to address.

Periodically review your clients’ mobile device policies and MDM solution configuration to make sure it’s optimized and keeping their network and data secure.

The former owner of a software development company and having more than a decade of experience writing for B2B IT solution providers, Mike is co-founder of XaaS Journal and DevPro Journal.