Tragedy often has long-lasting effects. The battle between the FBI and Apple over unlocking the phone of the San Bernardino shooter earlier this year doesn’t carry the cost of life of the initial events, but it is raising important questions about the way businesses handle the mobile devices their employees use.

There’s an inherent conflict any time a business gives an employee a phone or other mobile device. As our culture shifts more toward an always-on, always-connected viewpoint, employers often want their teams to be able to answer calls and e-mails whenever they’re needed. However, giving your employee a company phone and mobile access raises security and ethical concerns. Are you expecting your employees to carry two phones? If not, what happens to the family photos they snapped over the holidays if they’re no longer employed? What happens if the phone gets lost? And how do you make sure that when that phone leaves the building it’s not taking all your proprietary data with it?

Thankfully, mobile device management options have been developed to meet these challenges. By using a mobile device management system, your company retains total control over the mobile devices and computers you let your employees use. It removes most of the problems created when dealing with devices that exist in the world outside your safe network.

Mobile device management is making headlines for an unfortunate reason. Had his employer installed a mobile device management solution on the San Bernardino shooter’s phone before it was assigned to him, the FBI wouldn’t be struggling so hard (and fighting with Apple) to get access to the phone. A mobile device management solution gives employers the ability to reset and passwords and unlock any device at any time. What else can MDM do?

At Symplexity, we use Cisco Meraki MDM as part of our efforts to keep our clients wireless and mobile offerings secure. Meraki gives your company the ability to set policies and restrictions that your end users aren’t able to circumvent. Your company can choose to allow or restrict the installation of apps, use of the camera, screenshot feature, syncing, and in-app purchases. Those examples are just starting points. On iOS, for example, Meraki MDM gives you the option to limit access to Siri.

Mobile device management can also help make mobile productivity easier for your end users. If your company has more than one location or wireless network, MDM lets you manage those connections, pre-load wireless passwords, and let your team stop spending the first five minutes of most meetings trying to get connected to the Wi-Fi.

Cisco Meraki MDM is especially impressive because, once it’s installed, it allows you to change the settings, permissions and restrictions for all the MDM-enabled devices over-the-air. If there’s a policy change that needs to be pushed out to devices, there’s no need to send out an all-staff e-mail asking your team to bring in their devices “as soon as possible.” Make the changes in the management console and they’ll automatically be pushed out to the affected devices.

Handing your employee a phone without mobile device management can have affects on your company’s productivity and morale, and there are even instances where it might turn into a legal problem. To make sure your company is taking advantage of everything mobile devices have to offer without dealing with avoidable problems, contact Symplexity.

Symplexity is Northern Indiana's technology leader. Our highly specialized technology team can help your business make technology headaches a thing of the past. Contact us today to see how Symplexity can be a valued partner for your organization.

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