With running a modern business comes the task of managing technology, such as iPads for POS transactions, smartphones for event check-ins and laptops to handle day-to-day management tasks.
This great technology, while necessary to make your business thrive, can also come with challenges. There are upgrades to be completed, malfunctions to help users with, software updates to apply – just to name a few of the regular maintenance tasks for an enterprise fleet of tech. Add in the different models, OS versions and platforms, and the complexity only increases.
All of the administration needed for different hardware and its respective software is time-consuming and detracts from employee productivity, and ultimately the bottom line. The old school way of relying on IT personnel can result in longer than necessary wait times. The best way to get a leg-up on managing technology is to enable businesses with the assistance of cloud-based mobile device management (MDM). From one software portal, those with the keys to the mobile device castle can monitor and manage devices across the enterprise, regardless of how many are in play.
When you think about the benefits to organizations, it’s hard to remember life before MDM.
Bring your own device
Security of devices comes into play in the workplace with the common concept of BYOD (bring your own device), where employees can bring their own mobile devices to the workplace for use on the job. This is not a new idea — 74 percent of organizations are planning to or have already adopted the BYOD method in the workplace. The reward for the business is that each employee has the choice to work on their preferred OS and, up front, it is a cost saver for the business. The risk is allowing these personal devices to connect to enterprise data, which can mean putting security at risk. Regardless of who purchased or owns the device, IT is still responsible for ensuring optimal functionality of these work devices to ensure business data doesn’t end up in the wrong place.
This is where a MDM solution such as Bushel shines. Bushel protects mobile devices by proactively enforcing encryption and allowing for them to be remotely locked or wiped clean from any location. This is especially important if a device is lost or stolen. To ensure your employees aren’t accidentally exposing data, MDM solutions can also set a control time (say two minutes of inactivity) to automatically lock the device and require a personal passcode to unlock.
With great data comes great responsibility
Not everyone needs to have access to every piece of company data. Bushel encourages the practice of Open In Management, a feature for separating company data from personal data. This allows organizations to place limitations on company app content and work emails that are being accessed on mobile devices. This keeps company data secure by preventing it from being shared with personal applications.
Key to easy encryption
For any Macs used at work, it’s highly encouraged to enable FileVault 2 (built in to OS X Lion systems and later). FileVault 2 is built with XTS-AES 128 encryption to prevent unauthorized access to data and documents stored on the device’s startup disk.
Bushel operates as a systematic backup when it comes to encrypting and storing FileVault recovery keys. Bushel can initiate FileVault 2 full disk encryption with the flip of a toggle for any enrolled devices. If File Vault is already turned on, Bushel will not have access to the recovery key but the organization will be able to report on that status.
Just because a business doesn’t own a device doesn’t mean the business doesn’t own the data and intellectual property accessible through the employee’s device. Keep it safe and encrypted with the help of an MDM solution.
Support the IT team
MDM is the modern IT department’s best friend with functionality to support secure wireless networks, including WEP, WPA and WPA2. A fully supportive MDM tool should have no limit on the quantity of connected networks so there are no limitations for employees working anywhere around the world. Such a tool helps to eliminate all the support emails and calls requesting the forgotten secure network Wi-Fi passwords that are constantly changing.
Did an employee forget his or her new smartphone password? We’ve all been there. Fortunately, with MDM there’s no need to fill up the IT queue with requests to access the phone. Bushel’s remote unlock feature allows the MDM manager to reset the passcode quickly. This is also beneficial if a new employee is being onboarded with a device previously utilized by a former employee.
Sometimes an app is needed across all devices in the enterprise. However, downloading on all devices from separate Apple accounts is one hot, technological mess. Administrators of Bushel can enroll in Apple’s Volume Purchasing Program (VPP) and use the software to assign the apps directly to all enterprise devices. Plus, the Volume Purchase Program can deploy apps without requiring an Apple ID. This incredibly easy, over-the-air distribution technique is available for devices running iOS 9+ or OS X 10.11+ (El Capitan).
All-seeing email eye
It’s important that a MDM tool allows for the option to automatically configure company emails of any IMAP, POP or Microsoft Exchange accounts (including Google Mail, Yahoo! Mail) on devices.
Take the days of hand logging serial numbers and updating epic spreadsheets and forget them. The tedious task of attempting to have a full handle on who has what device and what status it’s in is eradicated with MDM technology. Start with all of the company-owned Macs. With Apple’s Device Enrollment Program (DEP), Bushel managers can skip the time wasters like the basic set-up screens and configure without having to physically work on the device. This slick, streamlined process ensures proper activation for employees without the wait.
Bushel’s platform displays all the must-know information on one easy dashboard: OS version, model, hardware addresses and serial numbers. This nifty set-up also outlines which user is using a device, which device settings are applied, what apps are installed and how much total and available capacity is on each device. It’s like standing atop the tallest tower in the city and taking a bird’s eye view over all the homes and people.
Bushel also helps you keep tabs on device warranties and coverage so that decisions can be made to extend before it’s too late.
Last thoughts before logging off
Honestly, time is too precious for a business of any size to be wasting energy jumping from one device to another to manage and maintain them for optimal productivity. Especially if the enterprise is powered by Macs, then considering an MDM tool like Bushel is a must for an edge up on the competition. With a price point of free (first three devices are free, forever) it’s in your best interest to at least try making “business as usual” exceptional with Bushel. While your competition is restarting and rebooting, you’re optimizing and functioning at full bandwidth.
Read next: Integrating the cloud into your business
Image credit: Shutterstock
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This post was brought to you by Bushel, your solution to cloud-based Mobile Device Management (MDM).