Mobile Device Management

Worried That Your Employees Will Play Angry Birds on Their Company Tablets? Fear No More

angry-birdsIt’s a fact – tablets and smartphones are here to stay. Not only are they becoming more of an everyday part of doing business, but the technology is growing at breakneck speed. As the technology grows and improves, mobile devices are replacing their more elephantine sibling – the desktop PC.

Tablet Use is On the Rise

Analysts at IDC expect tablets to grow in the smart-devices market from 10.7% in 2012, to an estimated 16% by 2017 — with a projected growth rate of 174.5% between 2012 and 2017. Over the same period, the desktop PC category is projected to have negative growth of -5%, and slide from 12.4% share in 2012 to 6% share in 2017.

IDC went on to show in 2012 there was “78.4% year-over-year growth in tablet shipments — which exceeded 128 million units.”

With this projected growth, tablets are expected to pass desktop sales in 2013 and portable PCs (laptops) in 2014. Mobile device domination is not just coming… it’s here!

We see these facts unfolding before our eyes with our clients. Most of our clients find themselves in one of these two situations, or sometimes both.

1.    The company wants to start using tablets for a portion of their workforce to improve productivity through this enabling technology, while lowering the cost of more cumbersome traditional technology.

2.    Company IT Directors show up to work one morning only to find several of the executives have purchased a new iPad and want it to work in the office now. And after using them for a few weeks, the boss decided all sales people around the country should now have one.

 

The benefit is clear – but what about the risk?

While these mobile devices can be an exciting enabler for the business, they can become a nightmare to the IT department. Companies just want to manage tablets in the same way they manage laptops – and they don’t know where to begin.

Here is a typical scenario we hear from company C-level management:

“We want to deploy iPads to our 50 employees in the field, but we don’t want them playing Angry Birds or shopping on the Apple App Store all day long. We only want them accessing our software and solutions. Oh, and we also would like to track where they are… oh and be able to remove all the data from (wipe) the tablet if they go rogue.”

MDM to the rescue!

Control over how employees use the hardware you’ve invested in is a simple enough request, right? Actually, now it is. With Mobile Device Management (MDM if you want to get techie with it), one person can remotely manage an unlimited number of mobile devices from a single location. At Fluid, we use MDM to help our clients do the following:

·         Remotely install the applications needed

·         Remotely remove the applications not needed

·         “Lock Down” the device so users can not add, change or remove settings

·         Track the device so we know where it is at all times

·         Remotely wipe the device clean if it is lost, stolen or otherwise ‘needed’

This is powerful stuff! You can have remote staff across the country buy a tablet in their local area and we can remotely set it up without ever having to touch the device.

For companies with remote staff, this can be a game changer. We have healthcare clients deploying hundreds of these less-expensive tablets to their mobile nurses, and construction companies deploying them to their sales force. Each one is managed centrally by a single person with a deployment time of minutes.

So for those companies who have tablets, but have not fully embraced them due to security or usage concerns, fear no more. For companies that have not even considered using them because of these same concerns, there is a solid answer.

Bottom line – tablets will be used more and more by businesses seeking to improve their relationships with their customers and ultimately beat their competition. Having a proactive strategy and plan is critical, and Mobile Device Management makes it possible.