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6 steps to better mobile device management for your small business

Managing the mobile workforce is an ever-evolving challenge for businesses and IT infrastructure. With a growing number of SMEs struggling to keep things under control, effective management of your company's mobile devices will ensure you stay productive, safe, and can continue to grow. 

EMM, or Enterprise Mobility Management, is the new term used to encompass mobile device management (or MDM). The new acronym is now being used more commonly as it defines the new approach to device management; looking after business mobile apps and content, instead of just focusing on the physical devices we use within the workplace.

In April 2017, a report from The Radicati Group forecast that global revenues for the EMM market will reach £1.4 billion by the end of the year, and this is likely to increase to over £13.3 billion by 2021. That’s an average annual growth rate of approximately 18 percent over four years.

One of the factors driving this growth is the use of BYOD, or Bring Your Own Device, programs being used by organisations. Alongside this are rises in mobile apps, mobile workforces, cyber security issues, and compliance and regulatory requirements.

If you are a small business using mobile devices to help manage your business, then you need to choose the right management solutions to make sure your company stays productive and your data stays safe.

Here are six steps to ensuring you choose the right EMM software for you...

1. Put your needs first

The first step to getting the best EMM solution for you is to work out what features and capabilities your business requires. You need to look at what types of mobile apps your team works with, what security and regulatory compliance requirements you need to comply with, which service and network management features you need, the mobile OS you typically use, and the reporting capabilities you want.

After you’ve worked out which tasks you would like to support via mobile, you need to choose the features. Consider whether your businesses needs content and/or application management, or just basic device management. Do you need to support employees own devices as well as company-owned ones? Or if some employees travel a lot, do you need software to accommodate that?

When you look at mobile device management services, think about all the different mobile users in the business. It’s not just senior executives who utilise this technology now. It’s everyone.

2. Think about user experience

Knowing how an EMM platform works with different mobile devices is an important thing to check before a business-wide roll out. If a service is difficult for employees to use or disrupts the way they usually do things then they are far less likely to use it the way you want them to.

To get around this problem, choose your top two possible platforms and give them a trial run with some or all of your employees. Hold a meeting and discuss their experience with the platform and whether it’s easy to use. Make sure to run the test for a long enough period of time so you can get a good idea of how a platform will really work for you.

3. Think about connective endpoint management

EMM suppliers are working on ways to evolve products into those that can manage more diverse endpoints (called Unified Endpoint Management, UEM). This capability will allow businesses to manage all their devices, including PCs, mobiles, and IoTs, in one place.

Allowing companies to amalgamate the management of a broader connected device estate is where the UEM approach is going, and more companies will take this approach as it becomes clearer how it will improve mobile device management. Get a head start on your competition and make sure this is part of your EMM solutions from the very start. 

4. Remember your mobile apps

It’s easy to forget about business apps when looking at the mobile ecosystem but they are of real value to companies. That's why the features and capabilities of the applications you use need to be considered within your business’s mobile device management framework.

Mobile apps are propelling EMM platforms forward, as they have a huge role in making employees more productive. Businesses need to choose apps wisely to ensure that they are integrated with the wider business services and infrastructure and contribute to overall efficiency and growth.

5. Do you need a suite or individual products?

Businesses need to consider whether they need a full EMM suite or individual components to fit the company’s size, needs, and existing EMM structure. Usually the bigger your company, the more products you’ll need.

Smaller businesses should try and keep things simpler by having fewer services to organise and manage. It may not be necessary or realistic for you to buy a one-size-fits-all suite of EMM software or products. It might be worth talking to a managed IT services provider to understand your individual needs and create a bespoke solution for you.

6. The future is now

The EMM platform you choose needs to be able to work with your organisation’s current needs and have the ability to support your developments in the future. Devices are going to continue to change at breakneck speed, so all businesses need to be ready and willing to adapt to new technology, behaviours, and their needs in regards to employees’ mobility and connectivity.

Take a bit more time to consider what your business may need in the future and look at EMM providers' offerings with this in mind.

By looking at your mobile management needs with a 360-degree view, you'll be able to better understand your wider business needs and choose a platform that will lead you to safety and success. 

Interested in managing your company's mobile devices in a safer, stronger, and more efficient way? We can help! Contact the experts at Xenace for an informal chat about your requirements. 


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