Getting work done remotely gets more attractive every year, thanks to improvements in mobile device capabilities and expansion of network bandwidth and coverage.
Mobile computing became more urgent when the Covid-19 pandemic of 2020 forced companies worldwide to embrace remote work. Within days, enterprises had tens of thousands of mobile devices to worry about. Fortunately, many could turn to mobile device management (MDM) technologies to supervise massive fleets of smartphones, tablets and laptops. MDM technologies help companies:
- Secure and assess the vulnerabilities of their mobile device fleets
- Manage the policies regulating mobile device use
- Monitor and maintain all the devices within the fleet
- Design and administer networks of mobile devices
- Controlling and managing the cost of the devices and service
- Configure the software on each device
- Managing distribution of mobile devices and accessories
All these variables have to be managed cohesively, as slip-ups in any one area can undermine the effectiveness of the entire remote-work enterprise.
How Mobile Device Management Works in Practice
Let’s draw an example from a market sector on everybody’s mind in the midst of the pandemic: clinical trials to develop vaccines and new drug regimens. Pharmaceutical manufacturers partner with contract research organizations (CROs) to conduct most clinical trials. CROs, in turn, are looking to do more virtual clinical trials because potential volunteers feel safer and more comfortable in their homes and would prefer not traveling to a trial site.
While virtual clinical trials are attractive, they pose several challenges:
Inventory management. Somebody has to manage an inventory of mobile devices like phones, tablets and connective devices. They all have to be monitored and have alert systems set up to tell managers if something has gone wrong.
Configuration. Every device’s software must be installed precisely to match the trial’s needs. “Bring your own device” doesn’t work well because each user’s smartphone adds too many variables. Each trial requires only a few specific apps and has to limit functionality to maintain scientific validity of the data collected.
Security. Each device must be protected against unwarranted intrusions while preventing breaches of sensitive personal data. HIPAA compliance is mandatory.
Pairing. A smartphone or tablet may be connected to a blood-monitoring device for a diabetes patient. Other devices might track blood pressure or physical activity. These interactions must be closely supervised.
Cost. Devices must be purchased and data plans set up according to specific clinical parameters. This prevents misuse and ensures that proper trial controls remain in place.
Replacement. Once the trial is finished, device data must be erased to prevent accidental release of volunteers’ personally identifiable information (PII).
MDM technologies identify every device in an enterprise’s fleet and monitor them all in real time. This helps managers slam the door on security breaches and control the cost and scope of mobile device networks.
An Expert Partner for Mobile Device Management
MDM helps private, public, and government agencies orchestrate networks of mobile devices for tasks like inventory control and production line inspections. In the public sector, MDM can help police agencies fight crime and military organizations track their equipment inventories in hazardous settings.
As a top provider of mobile application development and mobility services including mobile device management, DMI has the skills and a track record to deliver end-to-end mobile solutions to any sector of the economy, public or private. We focus on rapid time-to-market to improve ROI and user-focused system design to streamline adoption. Finally, our consulting approach ensures you get a partner committed to finding the best solution for your exact needs, in order to meet your business goals and objectives.
–DJ Oreb, president, managed mobility services