It doesn't take a world-class debater to convince folks that mobile device management is growing in importance. Mobile devices are becoming more powerful, the tasks they are used for increasingly are mission-critical and the data stored on them more valuable.
Processor lays out some of the most important points about mobile device management. The first step-and one that an analyst quoted in the piece says pays big dividends even if it also is the last step-is asset management. As the name implies, this is simply figuring out what devices are being used by whom and where they are. Another excellent point, raised by another analyst, is that some functions-such remote wiping and data synchronization-are completely new. Antivirus and other security steps, conversely, are customized versions of tools that exist elsewhere in the enterprise. The key elements of mobile device management, the story says, include remote asset management, security, software distribution, data synchronization and efficient help desks.
Mobile device management and security are separate but intricately linked issues. Increasingly, IT departments must pay attention the way in which mobile users under their care use their devices to access the Internet. Mobile browsers differ, according to this Industry Standard story, in their inherent level of security. The piece offers some insight into what the differences are. IT departments, the writer notes, must focus on the security elements of the browser itself, training users to browse safely and creating what the writer refers to as "a solid handheld device management system." Several elements of an adequate management system are offered towards the end of the piece.
There is news on the mobile device management front:
- Last month, Blackbay tapped SOTI as its key mobile device management partner. Blackbay, this piece says, provides real-time enterprise mobility platforms for supply chain and field service operations. SOTI's MobiControl, a device management platform, will integrate with Blackbay's Delivery Connect, a piece of mobile worker software.
- The Cedar Fund led a $3 million round of funding for Onset Technology, a company that writes software for wireless messaging compliance, data loss prevention, emergency communications and mobile device management.
- Last month, InnoPath Software introduced the OMA-DM client and Device Update Agent (DUA) as integral and validated elements of the Mentor Graphics Nucleus real time operating system (RTOS). Device makers will be able to use the platform to increase the over-the-air manageability of handsets, the company says.
The close relationship between mobile device management and security is illustrated by this Science News live posting. In one paragraph, the poster extols the importance of the software and suggests that good products support a number of devices and operating systems. In the very next paragraph, the writer provides six levels of security that such products should offer: encryption, password protection, centralized management, remote wiping, firewall/antivirus and policy enforcement.
Though mobile device management and mobile security are deeply linked, the sector goes beyond the protecting devices and data. Companies need to pay close attention to these software packages because they can reduce costs and make mobile workers more efficient.