How to Give Your Business a 2020 Upgrade With MDM
While the last decade saw the rapid adoption of mobile devices (e.g., smartphones and tablets) in business and the multitude of benefits they offer, it also saw a series of challenges in their security, such as the tracking and management of these devices. Luckily, mobile device management (MDM) has evolved in tandem with these mobile innovations to offer businesses, both large and small, a sophisticated solution to control and secure the devices within their mobile infrastructure with as little effort as possible. Furthermore, the right MDM solutions offer additional features for businesses that go much further than just control and security, such as inexpensive — but value-adding — workarounds for marketing solutions, interactive kiosks, and more.
If your business is planning to deploy additional mobile devices in 2020, or if it already has a large number of devices within its network, a robust and sophisticated MDM solution is vital to the success of any device management strategy. So how exactly can MDM give your business a 2020 upgrade? Let’s start with the basics.
Without MDM, an IT manager's job is a monumental challenge. Not only do they have to spend countless hours manually ensuring each mobile device is secure and updated, but they're also required to work with remote staff to resolve issues as they arise, with little to go on other than the employee’s description of the problem. This way of working is clunky and inefficient, to say the least, and results in many lost hours and reduced productivity for both the IT manager and the employee. To solve this, the right MDM solution should streamline and simplify IT managers’ duties by enabling them to view and manage all devices within their network from one central, cloud-based admin console. Through this console, IT managers can work with employees to diagnose issues, remotely view and control all devices within the network, securely transfer files, view the device’s physical location, lock devices, and more.
While these features tend to be a staple in most reputable MDM solutions, some offer additional features that can well-and-truly bring a business into 2020 through inexpensive workarounds to otherwise expensive problems, such as digital signage. With studies attesting to the effectiveness of digital signage as a tool that can boost foot traffic, share product information, attract window shoppers, and more — all while telling a brand’s story — many businesses are looking to implement digital signage as part of their retail and marketing strategies. However, solutions from dedicated digital signage vendors are expensive, costing businesses anywhere from $6,000 to $30,000 — a cost that's not justifiable for many businesses.
As such, the right MDM solution should enable business owners and IT managers to implement digital signage through a "kiosk mode" feature, which enables administrators to lock a device to one or more functions. This feature, when paired with the other base functionalities of a MDM solution like secure file transfer capabilities, means that implementing digital signage is as simple as sending the advertisement to the specified device, opening the file, and then locking the device into kiosk mode so it can’t be exited out of or tampered with by curious customers. It’s a simple, modern solution that enables businesses to reap the benefits of digital signage for only the cost of the device and the cost of the MDM solution itself.
Studies show that patrons and customers prefer to use self-serve digital information and ordering kiosks over asking staff to assist with their queries. As such, another way businesses can utilize MDM is by sourcing a solution that offers both a kiosk mode and an application management suite, or AMS functionality, to implement self-serve information and ordering kiosks throughout their retail store(s).
Imagine a customer enters a truck rental company with a simple question around the terms of service and timing of truck returns, but the front desk associate is busy handling a long line of customers who are returning their vehicles — a lengthy process. Instead of waiting and inevitably becoming frustrated, the customer is able to approach a self-service kiosk, search for their query, and find the answer to their questions in a matter of minutes. They're so satisfied with the quick and easy service that they use the same kiosk to reserve a truck for the following weekend.
So how does this work? It’s simple. Using a MDM solution's AMS function, an administrator can deploy a completely customized and branded information and product ordering app to select devices within their network. From there, the administrator is able to toggle the device into kiosk mode, so the device is locked only to that custom app. Customers then have the convenience of self-service, while businesses can enjoy the benefits of reduced customer queries and order-related workloads.
With all this in mind, it’s clear to see: the future of mobile in business is bright and not stopping any time soon. By implementing the right MDM solution now, businesses of any size can enjoy the benefits of streamlined and simplified mobile device management, reduced workloads, improved customer experience, increased security and control, and more, all while forging a reputation as a technologically up-to-date business. So what’s holding you back from upgrading your business with MDM in 2020?
Anson Shiong is CEO of Sand Studio, the developer of mobile device management (MDM) solution for Android devices, AirDroid Business.