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What Is Mobile Device Management (MDM)?

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With remote work and bring-your-own-device (BYOD) practices on the rise, mobile device management (MDM) has become a necessity. Using mobile device management, IT teams are able to control, secure, and manage mobile devices, such as smartphones, laptops, and tablets. In this mobile device management (MDM) overview, we will answer the question what is mobile device management, discuss its importance in the IT world, and reveal some MDM best practices to follow.

What is mobile device management (MDM)?

Mobile device management (MDM) is a software solution that allows IT teams to control, secure, and manage mobile devices, including smartphones, tablets, and laptops.

MDM is often a part of unified endpoint management (UEM), which is the practice of managing, monitoring, and securing devices from a single pane of glass. The purpose of MDM is to ensure that team members’ mobile endpoints and the confidential data they contain are used in a safe and secure manner. It also supports BYOD practices, which have gained popularity in recent years.

Why mobile device management is important

The main reason why mobile device management is important is because without MDM, IT administrators would be unable to thoroughly secure and manage remote devices. According to C Solutions IT, “The use of mobile devices in business has crept up over the years, and now they handle about 80% of the workload in a typical office.” Because remote and hybrid work models were adopted by many companies in recent years, IT teams needed a way for team members to work safely and securely on remote endpoints, and sometimes on their own devices under a BYOD policy.

Remote and hybrid work isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. As a matter of fact, hybrid workforces are often considered the perfect mix between remote and on-premise models, and “the hybrid work model is expected to grow from 42% in 2021 to 81% in 2024.” Whether your organization uses a fully remote or hybrid work environment, you’ll need MDM to keep your remote devices and data safe.

How does mobile device management work?

TechTarget has the best in-depth explanation of how mobile device management (MDM) works. They clarify, “Mobile device management relies on endpoint software called an MDM agent and an MDM server that lives in the cloud. IT administrators configure policies through the MDM server’s management console, and the server then pushes those policies over the air to the MDM agent on the device. The agent applies the policies to the device by communicating with application programming interfaces (APIs) built directly into the device operating system.”

Essentially, mobile device management tools function similarly to many remote monitoring and management (RMM) solutions. They use an RMM or MDM agent that’s placed on the endpoint that allows IT teams to control, connect, and communicate with the endpoint.

What are the main components of mobile device management?

Although MDM’s main purpose is security, it also has many other core functions. The main components of a mobile device management solution are:

  • Access management

Access management, or IAM, is an IT security framework that uses policies, tools, and procedures to manage user access within an IT environment.

  • Device and application security

Device and application security is critical for protecting an organization’s confidential data from cyberthreats.

  • Data security

In addition to protecting devices and their applications, it’s also important to safeguard the data itself from theft, damage, or corruption.

  • Device tracking

Device tracking helps prevent endpoints from being lost, stolen, or misplaced, which could turn into a serious security issue.

Endpoint monitoring and management enables IT professionals to ensure that devices remain secure, up-to-date, and functioning at peak performance.

IT automation helps IT teams save time and resources by reducing manual workloads and automating tedious tasks.

  • Tech support

In today’s world of technology, IT support is more necessary than ever before, and MDM allows IT support teams to troubleshoot and resolve issues quickly and efficiently.

  • Content management

Using MDM, organizations are able to securely manage and distribute content across on-premise, remote, or hybrid IT environments.

What information can MDM see from a device?

MDM can gather a lot of information from a device, but it can’t access everything. Information that MDM administrators can access includes the OS version, device model, device health information, device location, applications, network information, and security policies. MDM does not grant access to more personal data, such as personal emails, texts, files photos, browser history, contacts, financial information, et cetera.

The reason MDM is set up this way is so that it benefits both the organization and the device user. The goal of MDM is to protect and manage devices and any data related to an organization or its projects while respecting the device owner’s privacy and personal information.

Bring your own device (BYOD) & mobile device management (MDM)

As mentioned above, MDM is set up in a way that protects and secures devices and organizational data while respecting the device owner’s privacy and personal information. Because of this, MDM goes hand-in-hand with bring your own device (BYOD), which is a practice that allows team members to bring and use their personal devices for work. BYOD not only saves a business’s resources, but it also allows team members to use devices that they are familiar with and comfortable with, so it’s a win-win situation for all.

Mobile device management best practices

1) Automate routine tasks

An MDM should make managing mobile devices an easier and more efficient process, and IT automation is one way to do just that. Automate device updates, reports, and other routine tasks to save time and effort.

2) Follow all security practices

While implementing an MDM solution will contribute to security efforts, IT teams should not forget about other IT security best practices, such as access control protocols and strong passwords. The best way to ensure that devices remain safe and secure is to follow all security best practices while using an MDM tool.

3) Use MDM with BYOD

BYOD policies should be clear and easy for employees to understand. If your organization decides to adopt BYOD, be sure to implement MDM as soon as possible for optimal security.


Since the usage of mobile devices in the workplace is on the rise, you can expect many more organizations to use MDM solutions in the near future. If your IT team needs a way to manage, control, and secure mobile devices, MDM is currently the best solution on the market. Whether you implement a BYOD policy or use your organization’s own devices, implement MDM to ensure that all mobile devices, and your business’s data, remain in the right hands.

More MDM resources

Next Steps

Building an efficient and effective IT team requires a centralized solution that acts as your core service deliver tool. NinjaOne enables IT teams to monitor, manage, secure, and support all their devices, wherever they are, without the need for complex on-premises infrastructure.

Learn more about NinjaOne Endpoint Management, check out a live tour, or start your free trial of the NinjaOne platform.

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