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Mobile working: The growing importance of MDM

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As more businesses and organisations embrace mobile working, mobile device management (MDM) is becoming increasingly important.

IT analyst Gartner claimed that an added focus must be placed on MDM to ensure the benefits of mobile solutions are enjoyed without firms becoming exposed to an unacceptable level of risk.

The firm said device management has become “a crucial discipline” for IT departments, given the increasing number of smartphones and media tablets now in use.

Across the UK, businesspeople are choosing to use handheld solutions to free themselves from the confines of the traditional office.

But IT managers need to ensure they exercise a degree of control over mobile devices to ensure they are used safely and responsibly, both in and out of the office.

Using smartphones and laptops without considering the physical and data security risks can potentially expose confidential information and lead to financial or reputational loss.

Terrence Cosgrove, research director at Gartner, claimed that the era of fully supporting company-owned devices is giving way to an era of managed diversity.

He commented that tiered support for employee-owned, consumer-class devices is increasingly seen as being the norm.

“With the unabated growth of consumerisation, IT leaders need to implement MDM to manage corporate and employee-owned devices,” Mr Cosgrove stated.

He said they also need to assign responsibilities inside IT departments for the service, application and security of all these devices.

“Because of the complexity of the mobile device landscape, there must be a person or group responsible for monitoring this landscape and for understanding users’ demands for new types of device and the impact new platforms have on applications,” Mr Cosgrove added.

“This person or group must work with the security team regularly to address the impact that platform changes and demands for mobile services have on the organisation’s security.”