These days, mobile device management (MDM) is a necessity for any organization looking for an effective and efficient way to monitor its mobile assets. However, understanding the vast number of MDM solutions available in the market today, knowing which software is best for your business, and the factors that influence MDM cost may become challenging, especially if you don’t know what to expect.
Consider this: More organizations are transitioning to a remote or hybrid setup and incorporating bring-your-own-device (BYOD) practices into their IT environment. While this allows for global teams to conveniently work together, it also means that you have different mobile devices all around the world that you need to manage. Ensuring the integrity of your mobile devices is not only a must – it’s a competitive advantage. A compromised mobile device may lead to:
MDM significantly reduces these risks and allows you to resolve threats proactively and pre-emptively. For industries that regularly interact with sensitive data, such as healthcare or finance, this tool is an absolute must.
This pricing guide will provide you with an overview of all the factors that can influence MDM implementation costs and any possible hidden costs of MDM.
Factors influencing MDM costs
Not all MDM solutions offer the same features and functionalities. In fact, most vendors offer custom packages to suit the specific needs and business requirements of their clients. Before discussing the factors related to MDM pricing, it’s important that you first assess your MDM needs. A costly mistake you can make is assuming you need all the native tools found in any software.
Scale of device management
Consider the number of devices and users you need to manage. A great way to assess this is to look at your industry and perceived security risk. What type of information is being received and passed through these mobile devices? Are high-level managers using mobile devices? Do all employees have their own assigned mobile devices? Answering these questions will help you determine the features you need, from device tracking to access management.
Feature set and customization options
Every organization has its own unique needs, and your MDM solution should be equally as dynamic. A good mobile device management solution should help manage the mobile devices in your organization effectively. Ask your vendor about the different features available for you and whether they offer customization options.
Cloud-based vs. on-premise deployment models
One of the major MDM cost factors is the deployment method you decide on – cloud-based or on-premises deployment. MDM on cloud manages your devices via the internet, either through a web portal or by downloading an MDM solution.
Either way, there are three cloud models you can choose from:
- Public cloud is cloud computing that is shared across organizations
- Private cloud is dedicated to your organization
- Hybrid cloud is an IT environment that uses both public and private clouds.
On the other hand, MDM on-premise requires a company-owned server to install the MDM software. Because everything is done in-house, this model does not require any third-party intervention, but you’ll need to pay people who have the expertise to set up and maintain the software solution.
Integration capabilities with existing systems
Never just assume that your chosen MDM solution can integrate with your current systems. You can save yourself a lot of headaches by requesting a demo from your vendor before deciding. Ask them whether and how easily their software will integrate with your existing software.
Cost breakdown of MDM solutions
Subscription models: Per-device vs. per-user pricing
Most MDM software providers offer either a per-device or per-user pricing model. As their names suggest, these pricing models charge your company a flat fee for every user or device. Keep in mind, though, that some vendors may include hidden fees based on integration capabilities or customization features. Take care to choose a provider that always prioritizes transparency and never includes any hidden fees.
One-time setup and installation fees
This is usually what is thought of when someone asks, “How much does MDM software cost?”. However, keep in mind that this upfront fee does not consider any hidden costs or other mobile device management expenses.
Additional costs for training, support, and maintenance
Similar to the previous point, you should always consider additional training and maintenance costs. This is especially true if your organization supports BYOD and is looking for a mobile management solution that provides support at lower prices.
Understanding the total cost of ownership over time
Rather than only considering your one-time setup fee, your MDM budget strategy should consider the total cost of ownership (TCO). It may be a good idea to create a TCO analysis with your IT department heads to examine whether a product is as cost-effective as you think.
MDM cost-saving strategies and best practices
Because most, if not all, mobile device management solutions are customized to your specific needs, it’s important that you work closely with your vendor to design software that meets all your requirements. You may be thinking, “How do I choose the right MDM vendor?”, especially if you have certain budget restraints. Here are some best practices that may help:
- Have a clear idea of what you want your MDM software to do.
- Meet with several vendors and conduct a vendor risk assessment.
- Ask for free demos.
- Review the terms of your contract and don’t be afraid to negotiate.
- Plan the implementation and integration processes well.
Most importantly, maintain a good working relationship with your vendor. You will be surprised: Having a good relationship with your MDM provider can save you a lot of money in the long run since you can also leverage their expertise to optimize your MDM strategy further.
Tips for negotiating MDM cost with vendors
The best way to get the best MDM ROI is to come prepared when meeting with a provider. This means knowing your goals and requirements, as well as how much you’re willing to spend for mobile device management expenses. Don’t feel pressured to sign a contract right away – it’s perfectly reasonable to compare vendors and find which one is the most suitable for your business.
An MDM solution that sets your workforce up for success
Remember: The goal of any mobile device management software is to ensure that all your mobile devices are managed effectively and efficiently. Whether you’re a startup or a well-established business, using a professional MDM solution provides you with the tools your employees need to succeed and thrive in their specific roles.