Top Ten Mobile Device Management Tips
This time I’d like to make a review of a curious and funny book that came into my hands yesterday, thanks to the partnership that my company has with Sybase.
I don’t want to make free advertising of Sybase mobile device management solution, but I found ten tips that may be interesting to comment and share with everyone else, because they summarise the essential problems derived from corporate usage of mobile devices that this kind of solutions intend to address.
I’m going to reproduce the list from the book and, of course, I will add my own comments to them. The list is divided into two: The first 5 tips are for system administrators and the last 5 are for users/workers.
- Centrally enforce security policies on mobile devices. Mobile devices nowadays are almost as capable as desktop computers, several times they contain critical information and therefore, a corporate policy needs to be in place for them as well.
- Implement a back-up system to protect corporate data. Mobile devices have more probabilities to be lost, broken or stolen, and we shouldn’t rely on the user to keep a backup of all the critical information that it contains.
- Utilise software that enables remote configuration of all your mobile systems. Leaving (critical) configuration options to each user can be a real nightmare for your support services.
- Keep an up-to date hardware and software inventory along with a back-up of all users’ data. By doing this you have always control of the mobile devices being used and also enables to easily restore the data to any of the corporate devices.
- Provide your mobile workers with top levels of support. Mobile technologies are capable of improving processes, and quality, etc. We need to also provide our mobile users with a quality response to let them achieve those benefits.
- Push your IT people to provide an automatic back-up system for your data. No comments.
- Change your passwords regularly. I would also add: and remember them!!
- Be wary about where you browse on the Internet. Here the same restrictions apply as when using a desktop browser. We can also add: “Don’t use Internet Explorer” 😉 !!!
- Be careful about who you open emails from. Again, the same applies for desktop computers.
- Don’t abuse the system by loading software that could impact its use for your job. Once more, this is the same as for desktop computers.
I would also like to say that, based on my experience, it is even more difficult to trust that mobile users will stick to those five rules. Mobile devices are with us all the time, and they tend to become personal. So it is very normal to want to install another ring tone, a small game to play on idle times, etc.
Therefore, I believe that the most important tips are the ones for systems administrators. They need to understand (an also IT management) that they need to manage all those new devices that many times are incorporated into the IT infrastructure without even the approval from the IT departments.
So this is our new reality and we can’t go against it. These devices are demonstrating its value for business and will rapidly grow in quantity and also in capabilites. Luckily, there are several tools available to help IT departments keep control of the corporate infrastructure.
Finally, I would also like to add one more tip to the list: “Break them all”. Well, not really. What I mean by that is that, in my experience, many times the corporate IT policies are so rigid that actually restrain the potential of IT solutions. With mobile devices that are so crucial to the success of businesses, we need to analize each case and be flexible enough to let the users get the full potential of them.
Below you can see a picture of the book’s cover: