Mobile Device Management Software and Performance Feedback Reporting
Device, Applications, and User Feedback
What are the priorities of Mobile Device Management software, beyond standard features, in managing the host of off-site devices accessing the corporate network, and what reporting features are necessary for successful continued operation of MDM software?
One of the most obvious features of Mobile Device Management software is keeping track of and exercising a measure of control over the possible thousands of devices that will be used to access company data. After listing key features of any MDM system, Tech Republic, a professional IT information source that helps decision-makers “identify technologies and strategies to empower workers and streamline business processes,” lists security and inventory management on their list of most important considerations when choosing MDM software.
Inventory management certainly is an obvious important feature of any Mobile Device Management software, in addition to allowing access to corporate data, the company needs to know who is on the system, what devices and applications are being used, when, where, and by who.
ZDNet quotes Gavin Whatrup, an IT director at UK marketing company Creston, states, “The priority has to be the CIA—confidentiality, integrity and availability—of your data systems.” this almost goes without saying. One of the most obvious issues that is often mentioned when considering any Mobile Device Management (MDM) software is security and integrity. Any MDM software that is worth its salt will provide a high level of security and integrity. Beyond that, Whatrup lists information on the top of the list, in addition to education and “careful management”.
Information that IT departments can use to ensure optimal productivity and “careful management” are such points as device performance. A paper entitled, “Addressing Mobile Device Security and Management Requirements in the Enterprise” from Enterprise Strategy Group recommends “constant oversight” for successful use of Mobile Device Management software with its necessary reporting features.
Device and application performance measurement are two crucial elements of Mobile Device Management software, after considering what have become standard features of MDM. In a report entitled “Evaluation of Mobile Device Management Tools and Analyzing Integration Models for Mobility Enterprise” (Umeå University), device management would include, at the least, battery status, online time, network bandwidth usage, and similar information. Application usage and diagnostics should also be monitored. If an employee’s off-site devices perform at an optimum level, worker productivity is ensured, if not steps need to be taken to ensure employee’s efficiency when using devices off-site; there should be a simple way of gaining easy access to that data.
MDM software should allow for remote device management with adequate security and reporting features, as elaborated on by B2B technology media leader IT Business Edge in an article entitled, “Twelve Best Practices for Mobile Device Management”. The value of analyzing feedback reporting on mobile devices is emphasized, “Making decisions and quantifying risks about mobile devices is hard without good data on the mobile devices in your environment.”
Additionally, “careful management” involves use of management reporting tools that are an integral part of the Mobile Device Management software platform beyond just knowing what is on the network. Tech Republic states, “reporting can be critical to the success of a new BYOD program.”
25 year IT veteran Robert Mitchell lists essential MDM reporting tools across a wide range of mobile device platforms in a Computer World blog article, “Features and functions compared - Today's crop of software does much more than manage mobile hardware”: 1. Automated responses to alerts 2. Automated scheduled report delivery 3. Real-time dashboards 4. Device-level analytics 5. App-level analytics.
Finally MDM reporting should make it easy to report on the current status of personal devices in IT operations reviews. It should be easy to produce reports needed to initiate discussion at meetings, and reports should be simple enough for all to understand.