MDM or Mobile Device Management is key component for doing mobile devices within an enterprise. It is virtually required if you are going to control ANYTHING around BYOT. Unfortunately these are not inexpensive solutions to deploy. There is infrastructure required, technical support, configuration services and licensing just to name a few of the pieces of this puzzle.
Now there are several companies who are setting these tools up within the cloud and selling the service on a per device basis. Jack Wallen over at TechRepublic has written covering three of the enterprise ready services in his blog entry: Three Mobile Device Management services suited for enterprise needs.
This may provide the small, mid-size and even large organization to get into the mobile space without making a big capital investment. If these tools can be used to manage not only smart phone and tablets but also Windows devices it becomes great way for organizations to manage devices both on and off corporate networks.
Here are just a couple examples.
Setting up a new phone or tablet with the proper apps and security configurations can be a manpower drain when done manually. The tool must be able to take a device from out of the box to a employee ready unit. Doing this on employee owned phones must set up a sandbox to protect corporate data.
For example, how would helpdesk analysts support a salesrep in the field when something just isn't working properly. With a pc they can take control remotely to help. What will they do with the Android tablet?
Roaming expenses for both voice and data can be a prohibitive expense when users don't think about those costs until the end of the month when they get their bill from the carrier. If it's a company device they may not even see bill. Giving them visual clues to the cost of a current call, text or data session MAY get them to change the way they deal with the data. If nothing else, it certainly makes them aware.
More and more vendors will be providing these tools as a service. Beside these three, there are companies ready to provide Sybase Afaria and Mobile Iron's MDM as a service. These will remove one of the major barriers for entry into the mobile space in companies.