Mobile devices, including both smartphones and tablets, play an essential role in helping businesses keep up with competition. They streamline activities, make work on the go possible, and help eliminate piles of paperwork. However, when you allow employees to take part in the ‘Bring Your Own Device’ (BYOD) trend and invite them to use their own mobile devices, you can also open the door to security risks and potential compatibility issues.
To tackle these obstacles and make sure that mobile devices always work for your startup and never against it, consider investing in a mobile device management (MDM) service. Here’s a look at how MDM can help your business.
Why BYOD is a Good Thing
BYOD is a solid business solution because most people already own several mobile devices, and they know how to use those devices proficiently. Transferring that proficiency into the workplace means that your company won’t have to invest valuable time in training employees how to use something new. Plus, employees are generally happy about being able to use their personal device in the workplace (and satisfied employees means more productive ones). BYOD also saves businesses money on tech costs — an invaluable perk for startups.
While BYOD sounds perfect, implementation requires a solid BYOD policy with the backing of a reliable MDM service to function effectively.
MDM and Security
Image via Flickr by Intel Free Press
One of the primary concerns that crop up when businesses decide to implement BYOD is security. What if an employee fails to update their device’s antivirus software? What if an employee loses their device? What if a seemingly innocent application leads to data leaks? The “what ifs” are endless, and what makes them even scarier is that even one hiccup can have a huge negative impact on a blossoming business.
The solution lies in MDM. RIM, now known as BlackBerry smartphones, pioneered the first MDM system. Since then, the technology has evolved into a comprehensive security solution for BYOD businesses. Via BlackBerry mobile device management solutions, companies can separate personal and business information on devices for protection against data leaks, receive alerts on usage compliance, and perform other security functions that protect sensitive information.
When your startup decides to invest in MDM, you can talk with the service provider about the specifics of their security features and choose which features are most important for your business.
MDM and Efficiency
Your business is just getting off the ground and you’re dealing with limited resources. The more you can streamline things, the better. MDM allows you to simultaneously deploy and manage apps across your network, keeping your team’s communication apps functioning and up to date while making sure that everyone stays on the same page, reducing the number of costly mishaps. A good MDM system also allows device users to perform basic self-service on devices, so they don’t have to constantly make maintenence appointments with the IT department.
Both of the above features free up your IT team so it can devote more time to drumming up innovative solutions for your business.
MDM and Money
For businesses that are just getting started, every penny counts. While it’s true that MDM isn’t free, it’ll save your startup money in the long run. How so?
It’s difficult to quantify how much lost data costs companies. However, in 2013, Symantec sponsored a study that found that the average total organizational costs of data breaches in the UK were just over $3 million US dollars (about £1.8 million pounds). Per lost record, the average cost ranges from around $40 to nearly $200. MDM is one of the most important defenses against lost data for companies that use BYOD, and can help avoid these kind of costly record losses.
The way that MDM frees up your IT team also saves you money in terms of hours worked and resources invested in solving complicated mobile device issues. As an added perk, MDM lets you enjoy the inherent money-saving benefits of BYOD without getting caught up in the worry of security issues.
MDM is an essential tool for any business that relies on mobile devices, but this is especially true for startups. The ways that MDM benefits security, efficiency, and the bottom line make it into a startup’s best friend.