Having a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy in place is now common in both the public and private sector. This poses a technical challenge for IT managers – what is the most effective way to manage a large number of privately-owned devices? What are the Mobile Device Management (MDM) software options? How does MDM differ from Enterprise Mobile Management (EMM)?

One of the key issues that BYOD poses is in the need to support a wide range of devices that have different operating systems (OS). Without a software solution in place, the IT team would have to be well-versed in the different hardware specific of the devices as well as have a highly tuned understanding on how to manage the security, applications and OS updates – a monumental task. Fortunately, there are software options that provide a solution to this.

multipurpose businessman

MDM Software

MDM software has provided an excellent solution when it comes to managing BYOD environments, giving IT staff the ability to manage key features of a mobile device network from a singular dashboard. Once installed on all devices, the IT team does not have to worry further about device management and can make changes or upgrades through the vendor. There are a myriad of MDM solutions available, most of them boasting multi-platform abilities, so it really comes down to what the specific requirements of an organisation are.

What’s the downside to MDM? While the software is still critical to enterprise mobility management, it has been found to have limitations in terms of functionality and user experience, namely because it operates at the device level. For example, if an employee or student has an application that they use in both work and home environments, when an admin wants to destroy data, all data will be deleted.

Emergence of EMM and another slew of acronyms

Employers and admins began to understand that they needed to manage the information on employees’ devices rather than solely fortifying the devices themselves. This is how EMM came onto the scene – it is all about flexibility – allowing IT staff to set up policy at an application and information level.

Natural Rough Wooden Plank Desk and Four People Holding Working Electronic Devices Tablet PC Book Notepad Smart Telephone

However, EMM is divided into other categories with different acronyms (because this is the IT sphere after all). These include:

Mobile Application Management (MAM)

The management of devices from an application level, like putting a wrapper around an app or configuring how applications access information, both from the business network and from other apps on the device.

Mobile Identity Management (MIM)

Functions like role-based access that apply context such as geo-fencing to determine not only who’s using the device, but also where they’re using it from.

Mobile Content Management (MCM)

Oversight and control at a content level, which can include copy and paste restriction and access to business content repositories like Sharepoint.

Along with MDM, these three categories help articulate the broad reach of EMM for managing mobility. However, this multi-layered approach isn’t a concession to additional complexity, but rather a method for centralizing the management of mobile devices for IT admins.

As Gartner states: “EMM provides the opportunity to avoid agent bloat, which is so often seen on PCs, where an endless parade of add-on utilities steal local resources, duplicate, and complicate the task policy coordination for the system administrators.”

Pixel IT provides EMM and MDM solutions. Our aim is to match your school or business with the solution that will work best in your environment. 

If you have any questions about how to manage your BYOD environment, don’t hesitate to call us on 03 9727 9111 or email sales@pixel.com.au