In recent months, the pandemic has caused the reality of distributed workforces to become clear. Users working on their own devices in a BYOD context aren’t always as scrupulous at setting and updating strong passwords; their home Wi-Fi networks aren’t as secure what’s back at the office; data loss and prevention policies aren’t being adhered to strictly, and it’s increasing your risk. Mobile device management (MDM) solutions like Microsoft Intune are the clearest answer to the these lingering questions, offering potential time savings and compliance improvements—but they require significant IT capacity and baseline level of cloud knowledge that many companies lack.
With a managed service provider like Intertec running your MDM, you can simply tell them your requirements and compliance concerns, and they can wade through all of the configuration issues and active management requirements on your behalf. In this way, you save costs on IT labor (nearshore managed services can often power labor cost savings of around 30%), while reducing the risk of a misconfiguration or integration SNAFU. Though these systems are fairly intuitive, there is a lot to keep track of and a lot active setup work that needs to happen to get started—and with a relatively small IT team it’s often worthwhile to the let the outside experts handle it. In this way, your internal IT folks are able to devote their attention to more value-additive tasks, while the rest of your organization uses their devices in a more secure, efficient way.
Before the rise of MDM software, it would take the average IT department an hour to configure every device that had been provisioned for a new user. With MDM, you can cut that down to just a few minutes. For a business with thousands of employees (and thus thousands of devices being rotated in and out every few years), this has the potential to easily save hundreds or thousands of person-hours in the IT department alone.
They say that human error is the world’s number one cyber security vulnerability—but MDM gives you the ability to reduce that attack vector considerably. Considering that rates of phishing and other cyber attacks have skyrocketed during the pandemic, it’s hard to overstate the value of gaining control over your security via remote enforcement of security compliance.
MDM makes BYOD policies more feasible from a security and compliance standpoint, which can actually help you reduce your spending on devices. And, if you’re able to track the ownership and location of your devices in this way, it’s much easier to keep a handle on large quantities of phones and laptops that might otherwise periodically go missing.
BYOD policies save users the trouble of waiting for a new device to be shipped—and even when you’re requisitioning a device, it’s quicker and easier to get it up and running (e.g. by automatically provisioning an email account on the device). Likewise, because everything is remotely managed you can be sure that your teams are using the most up-to-date version of their applications, meaning reduced slowdowns and compatibility issues.
Now that so many workforces are distributed, managing devices at scale without this kind of infrastructure is difficult to fathom. Luckily, an MDM solution like Intune gives you the ability to push out updates to multiple devices or solutions at a time, gain full visibility into device usage and ownership, and generally maintain consistent standards across your enterprise in a scalable way.
Intertec International is an IT services company founded in 2002 and is headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona. We have locations across the United States, and our nearshore technology center is based in San Jose, Costa Rica. With 15+ years of experience in the IT industry, we have a proven track record of working with companies of all sizes from across the globe to solve their complex technical problems through customized solutions.
To thrive with a distributed workforce, businesses need a cloud-based, mobile device management (MDM) solution. Something like Intune—Microsoft’s end-to-end integrated device management system—gives you the ability to remotely provision, manage, and update physical devices from the comfort of a centralized control tower that gives you full visibility into each device’s profile, compliance status, application usage, etc. Here’s how it works:
There are, of course, other systems besides Intune available for enterprises that need to manage large quantities of devices, but the functionality across this space tends to be similar. The benefit of Intune is that it’s already integrated into the Office365 environment—meaning that it’s likely to be the easiest choice for users who are already relying on Microsoft’s suite of applications.
Intune gives IT administrators a wealth of functionality, but very organization has different needs. That means that when setting policies for your mobile device users, there are a number of factors to consider:
Industries like insurance and banking that have myriad compliance and data governance requirements will often necessitate more robust policies. If, for instance, you require all messages that traverse your back-office ecosystem to be encrypted, it’s crucial that you be able to set and enforce an encryption policy remotely. If your people are working with sensitive data, it might be critical to restrict their copy and paste privileges in particular apps, for instance.
Then, there are a number of industry-specific features that Intune offers that you might be in a position to take advantage. OEMs, for instance, can use an add-on app (OEMConfig) that’s built with native functionality specific to the industry. This has the potential to save a lot of configuration effort—if you’re aware that it exists
Before the rise of this kind of technology, it might take the IT department an hour per device to get a new laptop or phone configured and sent to its intended user—with an MDM, you can do it all in a manner of minutes. On top of that, you can avoid data breaches and other security lapses, you can maintain uniformity, and you can improve productivity beyond the walls of the IT department.
All that being said, there is plenty of room for confusion—especially if your team isn’t comprised of cloud experts. This is where a managed services provider can come in and add a lot of value. Since a nearshore services provider would be able to offer labor cost savings of up to 30%. On top of that, they’d be able to add even more time savings, since they’d be cloud experts with a specialized knowledge of Intune’s various configuration and policy options. In this way, you can reserve your IT resources for more important tasks, and keep your devices safe, secure, and efficient no matter where in the world they are.