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Mobile device management: Do you need a light touch? Or a heavy-handed approach?

mobilephonelightningMobile device management (MDM) solutions on the market today can be divided into two camps—light touch and heavy-handed. Which approach is right for your business? Let’s take a look at each one, and discuss the trade-offs.

MDM vendors with a light touch approach leverage the device’s native capabilities. The benefit is that the “agent” provides a “native” user experience. However, new security features may become available whenever an operating system is updated. It’s a good idea to make sure that you select an MDM vendor that can keep up with the speed of new mobile devices and OS features.

The heavy-handed approach represents solutions that use “containerization” to isolate applications that access corporate data from other applications. Since email, calendar and contacts are the most popular mobile applications, most MDM vendors in this category focus on delivering a separate email client, calendar and contacts.

However, there is a trade-off for users of containerized devices, because this approach tends to drain the battery faster. Because it has negative effects on the user’s native device experience (low battery life), you shouldn’t be surprised that few end users support this approach.

Before you select an MDM vendor, carefully consider the balance between risk and usability. Unless your company is on the extreme side of risk intolerance, the containerized approach may not be the best choice.

If you’re considering an MDM solution, we have more advice on choosing the best MDM solution for your business in our Mobile Device Management Buyers Guide.

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