Mobile device management: A necessary cost or a cost saver?

By Pankaj "PJ" Gupta, CEO and founder, Amtel Inc., Network World |  Security, MDM, Mobile Device Management

Real-time visibility makes it possible to identify and flag devices that do not meet the company's requirements in terms of minimum hardware and software levels, or those devices that are eligible for upgrades or plan adjustments. Automated functions can also include history logs for users and groups, giving IT and finance teams valuable information for trend analysis and accurate expense forecasting.

These types of capabilities are key differentiators for the platforms offered on the market today. And the levels of automation also vary from vendor to vendor. While a small business might be able to regularly review reports, a large enterprise should carefully consider the time required to manually review summaries of device status and use, and look for a solution that automatically generates change orders to service providers in the event of any detected changes in device or employee status.

Is MDM worth it?

What kind of cost savings can a business expect? You might be thinking that a full device lifecycle management solution -- an integrated platform that can meet the needs of IT, finance, security and compliance officers, and management -- is going to come with a high price tag and long payback period.

While it is true that some of the enterprise-class MDM and TEM solutions require substantial getting-started investments, both for the software and for the required server platforms, there are cost-effective software-as-a-service (SaaS) offerings available at price points that offer very attractive ROI to businesses of all sizes.

Businesses should also look for a solution with lightweight agents for the devices being managed. This is essential for extending the life of the MDM solution, in terms of its scalability as the company grows. Users are also much more likely to accept a solution that has a small device footprint, especially in the case of BYOD.

The attractive ROI and minimized impact on the devices themselves are compelling factors in the business case for a device lifecycle management solution. Other cost-saving or operational impacts add more incentives. For example, the insights that can be gained about device use behaviors can enhance budgeting, and also enable more accurate forecasts for infrastructure capacity planning. And businesses can identify opportunities for cost reductions, and lower telecom expenses by as much as 40% by choosing carriers and plans that ideally suit the company budgets.


Originally published on Network World |  Click here to read the original story.
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