Today’s global supply chain operations face multiple, unprecedented challenges and constraints. Mobile devices are critical tools helping to keep today’s supply chain operations running at an optimal level. However – overseeing, maintaining and updating mobile devices can place a serious burden on IT teams.

There are advantages to working with experienced mobile device management organizations to help relieve this burden. They have the resources to implement the latest best practices and security solutions, based on your organization’s needs.

Consider these mobile device management best practices when reviewing your mobile strategy.

Establish and enforce policies

Your mobile strategy needs to have a solid policy framework to protect you, your employees and your customers, and your policies should be directly tailored to your business needs. Consider implementing help tools, online self-enrollment, procurement, acceptance and ongoing training to guide how your employees will use their mobile devices throughout their workday.

Should they be allowed to use apps other than those required for their job function? What if a device goes missing — how will your organization protect the data accessible on that device? Do you need to track users’ productivity or location?

When forming effective policies, this process is helpful to follow:

  • Step 1: Create a policy development team
  • Step 2: Evaluate your current policies (Are they working? Should they be improved?)
  • Step 3: Educate mobile users
  • Step 4: Monitor and enforce policies
  • Step 5: Regularly update policies to keep in line with company needs and changes to technology and security

Setting guidelines for the acceptable use of devices is a critical best practice for managing mobile devices. These guidelines let the enterprise know who, what and how devices can and can’t be used. If your business adheres to specific guidelines (such as HIPAA, FINRA and others), they will form the basis for many acceptable use policies. Also, consider policies for SMS/texting and hands-free usage while driving to promote safety.

Simplify your mobile technology ecosystem

Procure. Deploy. Manage. To get the full benefits of mobile technology, you need to master all three. A successful mobility strategy will cover all the devices end-users are leveraging and the apps and software they need to run, along with what to do if those devices do not work.

To keep devices up-to-date and working, it makes sense to consider an expert single point-of-contact that stages devices so they’re ready to work out of the box, then keep them in working-ready condition by handling ongoing software or app upgrades remotely.

Prevent security threats to your organization from mobile technology

Mobile devices are one of the most vulnerable assets in a company’s infrastructure. Well-designed mobile device management programs safeguard an enterprise and its sensitive data while keeping devices efficient and user-friendly. The most effective programs address mobile device security in four key ways.

1. Containerization

Containerization partitions personal data and work data on the device. Company security policies are enforced in the corporate area of the device, requiring strong passwords to access. Business email can’t be forwarded using a personal email account, and company data can’t be copied to the personal section of the device.

2. Encryption

Encryption covers data transmitted to and from the device, as well as data stored on the device. Data transferred between the device and the corporate network should always be encrypted. Data stored on the device should be encrypted via hardware and/or software-based encryption, depending on the device type.

3. Authentication

Mobile data management providers can deploy protocols for strong passwords, and support two-factor authentication for added security.

Virus/malware protection & remote management

To protect mobile devices against virus and malware attacks, strongly consider remote distribution of a mobile security app, threat monitoring and remote scans. A managed services provider can work alone or with your IT department to proactively prevent potential attacks with various security measures, such as blocking email access. Through remote locks and data wipes, IT administrators can disable a device and potentially erase all data on it, if lost or stolen.

Services for a device’s end-of-life

When a device is retired, mobile device management best practices will ensure data is removed and devices are sanitized according to industry-recognized standards. Any non-working devices should be recycled according to specific standards.

Complete help desk support

Help desk and support services should be part of a complete mobile device management plan, which allows internal IT teams to work on higher-priority tasks. The best device management providers have expert, dedicated teams to help address issues with device functionality, saving time and increasing efficiencies. It’s also important that these kinds of services include service-level agreements (SLAs) to establish help desk response time and availability.

Improve your mobile strategy

By following these best practices, you can leverage all the benefits of mobile technology while reducing risks and negative impacts on your mobile workforce’s productivity. Given the challenges today’s logistics and supply chain operations face, working with experts in mobile device management programs can ensure your organization fully benefits from these best practices.