6 Elements of a Successful Mobile Device Management Policy
Workforce mobility creates endless opportunities. A mobile workforce makes it easier to scale your business by enabling you to hire employees outside of your area. It also gives office employees a chance to work remotely if the need arises, increasing employee satisfaction and productivity.
The numerous benefits of mobility outweigh any drawbacks; however, employees using mobile devices creates a need for additional oversight.
A mobile device management (MDM) policy is an excellent first step toward appropriately managing your employees’ devices. It provides a foundation for processes, evidence for compliance needs, and a reference point for you and your employees to remain on the same page.
Your policy specifics will depend on your company’s relationship with workforce mobility. But no matter the environment, you can begin mapping your policy with these six crucial elements.
Elements of a Successful Mobile Device Management (MDM) Policy
1. Define your goals and challenges for employee mobility.
As you start planning the specifics of your policy, you’ll first need to know what you’re dealing with. Ask yourself what you’re aiming to achieve and the issues that could arise.
Possible goals to consider:
- Giving current employees more flexibility by providing laptops
- Allowing employees to use personal devices through a virtual desktop
- Hiring employees outside of your immediate and surrounding area
- Sending employees offsite (even internationally) to work with a client
Possible challenges to consider:
- Sending your employees offsite with confidential information
- Implementing controls to maintain regulatory compliance
- Having a piece of equipment lost or stolen
- Retrieving equipment from a terminated employee
Awareness is key. Understanding the scope of your company’s mobility—and the positive and negative implications that go along with that—gives you a firm base for the next steps.
2. Consider the levels of access for each group.
Different teams require access to varying levels of data. This is a significant element of your MDM policy because you might require specific equipment or operating systems based on the sensitivity of data.
For example, you might decide that an executive who has access to a great deal of confidential information (e.g., client passwords, payment information, etc.) should work from a company-issued laptop with a virtual desktop. On the other hand, freelancers who do projects here and there on Google Drive could use their own devices.
Those are two opposite ends of the spectrum, each requiring its own management style. While there are levels in between, these two examples show the value of treating each team differently in your policy. A blanket statement that doesn’t differentiate between access levels would accomplish very little in the way of security.
3. Analyze applicable compliance implications.
Every IT professional’s favorite word is compliance. Consider what industry-specific compliance regulations apply to your company and how those relate to mobile device management. Consult a security professional if you aren’t sure how to maintain compliance with mobile devices. This rings especially true if you haven’t yet completed an audit since implementing a mobile component to your technology strategy. You may find that what you have in mind for your mobile devices may not align well with compliance needs.
4. Document your mobile device strategy.
As you pull your MDM policy together, thoroughly document it every step of the way. Even aspects that seem self-explanatory are worth adding to your policy. If you aren’t confident in your policy writing skills, consult your managed service provider or another security professional. This guide will be evidence of your processes if you undergo a compliance audit.
5. Share the policy with your team.
Your policy will serve as a reference point for you and your employees, so it should be easily accessed by everyone. Consider storing the document on your company’s intranet and including it in your employee handbook. Depending on the size of your team, you may find it more effective to spend time explaining the policy to your employees and giving them the opportunity to ask questions. Though we would all like to think that our employees read our policies cover to cover, that isn’t likely the case.
6. Review and reevaluate regularly.
Once implemented, you’ll have the opportunity to see your mobile device management plan in action. Take note of aspects that might need to be modified within the policy when it’s time to review. As with any policy, you will revisit and revise the policy on an annual basis and document your revisions. This is an excellent time to reexamine the policy’s relevance to your company’s current operations.
Workforce mobility increases the scalability of your company and gives you a clear, competitive advantage. It also adds extra work to your plate as you try to keep day-to-day IT tasks under control. With a managed service provider, you can take advantage of secure mobile strategies without burdening yourself or your internal IT department.
Technology Lab works with our clients to identify their business goals and implement the right technology to achieve them. Our team of engineers is trained in both Windows and Mac environments to manage any infrastructure. We’re also backed by Computer Pros, giving you access to the latest technology right when you need it.
Contact us today to learn how we manage your mobile devices while keeping your company secure and compliant.