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BYOD and Mobile Device Management

A bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy in the workplace can greatly benefit employees and the company, but for IT admins it presents a challenge: mobile device management (MDM). It would be difficult to tackle even if this new influx were only about smartphones, but that challenge is magnified considering the rising number of Mac® and Linux® machines in the workplace. 

So what do you need to know about how MDM technology directly influences the BYOD workplace? Here, we’ll go over what MDMs are, the benefits of BYOD policies, and why it’s so important to make sure the two go hand-in-hand.

What is an MDM?

With the influx of smartphones into the workplace — most notably iPhones® and AndroidTM devices — IT admins and those in charge of security were presented with a new challenge: how to secure, control, and manage access to company information housed on them. This was the beginning of mobile device management, which has since expanded to include tablets and laptops as well. 

It works like this: First, devices are identified based on their serial number, associated user, or device name, depending on the MDM provider and the needs of the organization. IT admins then use the MDMs to deploy configuration settings and execute other commands. These can range from the more basic controls, like remote swipe and auto lock, to more expansive ones, including forcing updates, data encryption, and device tracking. 

MDMs typically work with either one kind of device (like smartphones) or one type of operating system (Mac, Windows, Linux). This means that one company may employ two or three different solutions to cover all of their needs. While this most commonly includes iPhones and Android smartphones, the expansion of mobile device management into tablets and laptops has meant that usually, more than one is often necessary. 

A Quick Snapshot of BYOD Culture

BYOD practices are part of the evolving “new normal” of workplace operations; it’s something that many small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) have been doing for a long time, even if they didn’t have a formal BYOD (Read more…)

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