Sep 14 2012

Preparing Users for an MDM Rollout

Communicate the value and benefits of mobile device management to employees early on.

Securing and tightly managing mobile efforts isn’t only a technological challenge. IT managers also must spearhead the development of policies that define who has authorized access to which resources, depending on each user’s role within the organization.

Additionally, users should be asked to review and sign policies that spell out conditions for using mobile applications and participating in bring-your-own-device (BYOD) programs. “For example, using Absolute Manage, employees who access the network for the first time on a personal device are brought to a web page where they must review the BYOD policy and accept it before gaining access to the network,” says Peter Frankl, vice president of lifecycle management at Absolute Software.


Annual cost to large enterprises from lost mobile devices, resulting in data breaches and related malware infections.

SOURCE: State of Mobility Survey (Symantec, February 2012)

But first, IT managers should hone their diplomacy skills. Users rarely clamor for new security controls on their devices because they fear — justly or unjustly — that these controls will hamper their ability to work effectively and infringe on their personal use of the devices.

The IT staff needs to help users understand that mobile device management (MDM) provides significant benefits to the organization by simplifying the delivery and management of mobile solutions — and it’s often these capabilities that make BYOD and IT consumerization possible in professional environments.

What to do? Organizations planning a rollout should communicate early and often with users about the need and benefits of MDM before deploying the software. Next, clearly explain what impact the MDM solution will have on users’ devices.

Don’t forget to point out that users may see benefits in the ability of the organization’s IT staff to remotely configure their devices and install applications, relieving them of these administrative tasks.