Mobile-device management (MDM) applications provide central management consoles that add a layer of security and control to mobile environments.
By using software agents downloaded to mobile devices, MDM applications help authorize whether a device is allowed to tap into the corporate network.
MDM programs can also scan devices for viruses when they log on to the network or download enterprise applications. They can also centrally set up e-mail and other types of business accounts.
In short, “MDM allows you to extend IT services into disconnected worlds,” says Mark Jordan, senior product manager for Afaria, an MDM solution from Sybase that supports multiple mobile-computing environments.
For example, Afaria can check to see which version of an operating system an individual device is running to make sure it’s current and conforms to the organization’s security policies. “So if you’re still running an outdated version of an operating system and that’s against the security mode, you won’t be allowed to access corporate e-mail,” Jordan says.
Similarly, Microsoft offers System Center Mobile Device Manager, server-based software that performs management and security services for mobile devices. It complements versions of Microsoft System Center designed to manage notebook systems.
When evaluating MDM applications, consider additional features that can do the following: