The Benefits of MDM: A Complete Guide

What Are the Benefits of MDM?

Mobile Device Management (MDM) is the most cost-efficient and logical way to manage a company's growing stock of devices. The benefits of MDM far outweigh any initial requirements to get it properly configured in a business. 

The benefits of MDM span across industries and companies of all sizes. All industries from manufacturing to retail and small businesses can leverage the benefits of MDM to maximize productivity and ensure their fleet devices stay up to date. 

The benefits of MDM also stretch across types of devices — everything from point of sale (POS) devices to kiosk devices can be configured to make use of the benefits of MDM. Using MDM, companies are able to remotely manage devices. 

One of the primary benefits of MDM is the increased security that it brings to a company's entire fleet: Devices can be remotely wiped or locked, for example. 

In this article, we're going to take an in-depth look at all the benefits of MDM for businesses of all types, whether small or large. We'll dig into several use cases that clearly demonstrate the benefits of MDM across industry sectors. And we'll cover some of the reasons why MDM is so important for a business. 

MDM benefits in the business world

The benefits of MDM in the business world cannot be understated. MDM is the only way to easily monitor and manage devices remotely. 

One of the top benefits of MDM in the business world is that it saves immense time and costs. Instead of having to be physically present every time a device needs an update or a settings change, the benefits of MDM are that the device software can be updated remotely.  

For Internet of Things (IoT) devices, such an update is called an IoT OTA (Over-The-Air) update because it is carried out over the internet, and one of the MDM benefits is that these updates can be carried out easily. . 

When businesses choose to forego the benefits of MDM, they leave their company devices open to attacks because those devices could have security vulnerabilities. The benefits of MDM include that you can secure your devices remotely and make sure vulnerabilities and bugs are fixed as fast as they were discovered. 

Businesses are using internet connected mobile devices now more than ever. These devices are used to build point of sales systems, Human-Machine Interfaces (HMI) in manufacturing, supply chain solutions, fleet management terminals, and so on. 

To try and manage all of these field deployed devices without the benefits of MDM would be virtually impossible. 

There is no doubt that digitalization and mobile device adoption are the ways of the future. By capitalizing on the benefits of MDM, companies can manage these many devices without incurring excessive on their budgets. 

Use cases showing the benefits of mobile device management

The benefits of mobile device management are numerous. And mobile device management benefits can be experienced by both small and large companies, no matter how many devices they have in their fleets. 

MDM is typically carried out via a simple user interface. A company registers all of its devices in a central device hub and can thereafter manage the devices remotely. A fleet manager can access a browser-based MDM tool that can be used to achieve, among other things, the following:

  • Install or uninstall apps
  • Remote device control
  • Device monitoring
  • Device provisioning, including quick provisioning according to changes in HQ policy
  • Updating login information
  • Toggling GPS and other privacy-sensitive settings on a device
  • Remote configuration
  • Fine-grained control over each device
  • Manage over-the-air (OTA) updates
  • Enforce company security policies (such as the strength of passwords)
  • Locking devices down as needed
  • Remote support of devices

Because of the incredible affordability of the Raspberry Pi, many small and large companies create fleets of Raspberry Pi devices. Raspberry Pi fleet management is also entirely possible using MDM. 

Let's take a look at the benefits of using good MDM in various industries:

Retail

In the retail industry, we see the benefits of MDM solutions very clearly. Two of the most common device types in this industry are:

  • Point-of-Sale (POS) terminals
  • Kiosk devices

A POS terminal is a device fitted with specific hardware to accept payments from credit and debit cards. It must be a robust system because its failure means the company will be unable to process payments. 

MDM solutions benefits include being able to monitor such devices to ensure that they are:

  • Functioning properly
  • Connected to the internet
  • Free of malware

POS terminals often need their software updated to ensure they remain secure. One of the top MDM benefits is the ability to remotely update applications and firmware on a device, and also to roll back any failed updates so that the device can keep functioning. 

The benefits of MDM are also clearly apparent in kiosk devices. A kiosk device is a stand-alone device that performs a dedicated function so that users can accomplish specific tasks. Examples of kiosk devices within retail industry include:

  • Digital signage
  • Wayfinders
  • Photo processing devices
  • Self-check-out

Although these devices seem "simple" on the outside, they require stable software and regular monitoring like any other device to ensure they keep working. When the Windows operating system was still used in these types of devices, "popup errors" were notorious, rendering the devices unusable. 

These days, such devices are now fitted with appropriate operating systems that are more suitable, such as Android on Raspberry Pi (3b+), or other embedded Android solutions. But even such devices need regular updating and troubleshooting, and key benefits of MDM include being able to update and support these operating systems easily and remotely. 

Manufacturing

Shop Floor Control (SFC) devices contain software that helps shop floor employees track and report on how work is progressing at a manufacturing facility. They also provide scheduling features. These devices help in planning resources and evaluating inventory. Sometimes, they also contain visualization software that assists in showing what needs to be done for the day. 

MDM manufacturing solutions are also necessary for Human-Machine Interface (HMI) devices. HMIs provide an interface between a human and a machine. Technically speaking, any device with a screen that gives visibility into a machine can be considered an HMI, but the term is typically used in an industrial context. MDM helps to manage those HMIs remotely. One of the main MDM benefits is to deliver remote support to users to minimize machine downtime and ensure production runs smoothly. 

Logistics & Transportation

Vehicle fleet management makes extensive use of mobile devices for which the benefits of MDM are utterly essential. 

Vehicle fleet management devices rely on very specific software to keep functioning. Some of that software is quite sophisticated, such as apps to analyze driver behavior. The benefits of MDM for these devices are that the apps can be kept completely up to date all the time, and any flaws handled immediately. This is one of the key benefits of MDM to ensure vehicle safety. 

The devices must also have their GPS functioning properly, and the benefits of MDM include being able to toggle this on if it is off. 

As for supply chain devices, these must be kept in top operation to ensure the smooth functioning of every aspect of the supply chain. Examples of devices in use are vehicle terminals, industrial scanners or handheld devices. MDM benefits mean that supply chain devices can be kept up to date and functioning well. 

Hospitality

The hospitality industry makes extensive use of customer- and employee-facing touch devices. Because such devices are in use constantly as self-service check-in or check-out kiosk systems, they need to remain in top functioning condition. Examples of devices that particularly profit from MDM benefits are food ordering devices within fast food restaurants or in-room tablets at hotels.

Kiosk-mode devices are also very popular in the hospitality industry. A device in kiosk mode will only display certain applications or websites. Such devices can run apps that let users do all manner of things such as keep tabs on their loyalty program points, find local tourism information, or request assistance. Kiosk-mode devices can also display advertising. 

Supply chains

Across the entire supply chain, uptime is of critical importance. One of the MDM benefits is the ability to schedule updates so that they happen at absolutely precise moments, ensuring the supply chain stays intact from beginning to end. 

Healthcare

The benefits of MDM are crucial for medical devices and equipment. These devices can range from simple monitors and dashboards to more essential devices. To ensure the health and safety of patients and health workers, proper updates must be carried out whenever necessary. 

The other extremely important aspect of medical devices is data security. Protected Health Information (PHI) can be sold for hundreds of dollars per patient on the black market. One of the MDM benefits is to ensure that the devices that store PHI are properly secured and have all the necessary company security policies applied. 

Top 5 reasons why mobile device management is important

The top five MDM benefits are:

  1. Reduced IT infrastructure and personnel needed
  2. Better compliance with regulations
  3. A more secure mobile device
  4. Simple remote management
  5. Simple device updates

Let's look at each of these benefits to MDM software in detail: 

Reduced IT infrastructure and personnel needed

Because MDM benefits include being able to remotely update and manage any device, there is much less need for on site visits.  

Managing devices manually is both time-consuming and resource-intensive. One of the main MDM benefits is reducing both of these and so greatly lowering company costs. 

Better compliance with regulations

Certain countries have rigorous rules to protect employee and/or customer privacy. For example, some countries might require GPS to be turned off if the device is on the employee's person, depending on whether the employee is actively working or not. The benefits of MDM are that this can be achieved easily. 

This is also one of the benefits of MDM for employees: Through using MDM, they can feel assured that their privacy is taken into consideration, as per the regulations of the land they are working in.

More secure

Keeping devices secure is one of the top benefits of MDM. Devices can be locked remotely, wiped, and have company security policies applied to them. The devices can be monitored as to location, and action can be taken if they are found to be where they shouldn't be. 

Some manufacturing and construction businesses must often take photographs of sites but these photos might be confidential depending on the contract's details. As regards images, benefits of MDM include being able to keep a device properly secured through a correct password so that it is less likely to be compromised. 

Simple remote management

A properly configured MDM makes it easy to manage devices remotely. The interface for the MDM system should be intuitive and free of clutter. Commands should be easy to send to devices. 

The benefits of MDM can only be realized if the interface that is used to manage devices has been built with user-friendliness in mind. 

Simple device updates

Devices that are linked to an MDM system can be updated easily and quickly. The benefits of MDM include being able to roll back the device update in case it was not done properly. This ensures that the device keeps working. 

Additional benefits of MDM

Some MDM business benefits include being able to provide additional solutions to customers. For example, if your company offers a shop-floor system, including an MDM package means your business can upsell support and troubleshooting because you'll be able to do this all remotely. 

What are the benefits and shortfalls of BYOD in the workplace?

BYOD — Bring Your Own Device — means that companies don't have to invest in creating their own devices. But those devices are more vulnerable to attacks because they are personal devices. Creating in-house devices is so easy these days that we recommend creating all your own devices. 

How to obtain the benefits of MDM for organizations

The easiest way to obtain the benefits of MDM for your fleet of devices is to sign up for a prebuilt MDM solution such as Emteria's Device Hub

Emteria has developed (and actively maintains) a ported version of Android that works seamlessly with emteria's MDM backend. Emteria.OS can be installed easily on a wide variety of hardware configurations. Companies can build entire fleets of devices with a reliable operating system at an extremely affordable price compared to using more complicated solutions. 

Emteria's Device Hub solution is excellent both as a small business MDM and also as an MDM for larger businesses. 

Through Emteria's Device Hub, all the benefits of MDM can be realized easily. The Device Hub connects to all devices in a company's fleet and can thus manage all aspects of each device. 

To learn more about how to use emteria.OS and obtain its benefits of MDM, contact us for a free demo. 

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