Mobile device lifecycle management (MDLM) allows organizations to develop tools, policies, and processes to manage and maintain their devices for optimum performance. It enforces a structured approach to device management and can support a number of key outcomes, from positive employee experiences to enhanced data security and environmentally friendly practices.
Yet, MDLM can be complex. It goes beyond mobile device management alone, which focuses exclusively on managing devices from an endpoint protection perspective. Instead, MDLM manages the entire lifecycle of the device, including how it enters and exits an organization. It can involve many parties throughout the organization, including financial, security, business, and compliance teams. Companies may choose to outsource some elements of their management plan to a third party provider or have their IT team oversee the lifecycle fully. Regardless of your specific approach, it’s helpful to outline all of the steps so you can ensure your organization has the proper measures in place.
Here’s a closer look at what MDLM entails and how you can ensure success at every step.
MDLM begins before you even physically acquire devices. Organizations have the option to either buy or lease devices such as laptops, tablets, and smartphones. The right selection will depend on your company’s precise needs, including the anticipated purpose and duration of use. Many retailers offer business programs that offer financial incentives for purchasing large volumes of devices and data plans. Be sure to involve key decision makers to determine how much data and device storage is necessary.
In this step, devices are set up for users and connected to the organization. For example, user profiles and credentials are created. IT teams can use an MDM platform to configure the device and its settings, such as creating a single sign-on, corporate VPN, and WiFi.
Provisioning is critically important, as it’s the step in which security measures are put in place, such as encryption, remote wipe settings, and restrictions. IT teams and data security experts should determine the proper measures based on the business’s unique needs and risk factors.
Once devices have been received and provisioning is complete, they can be distributed to teams. Make sure employees are aware of how to use the device and are up-to-date on best practices. Consider setting up support channels through platforms such as Slack, and use clear, concise language when providing instructions. Additionally, maintain communication regarding the deployment strategy and delivery schedule, and make sure IT teams are tracking device delivery statuses.
Service & Repair
MDLM doesn’t end once employees have their devices. Routine ongoing maintenance, such as hardware or software fixes and updates, must be performed to ensure functionality and data security. Many IT teams use mobile device management platforms to schedule and perform these tasks. Some repairs and maintenance tasks may be performed in-house, but other more complex work may be outsourced to a third-party repair team.
Recovery & Retirement
Of course, no device will last forever. When device performance, operating system (OS) support, or other factors could diminish productivity or data security, it’s time to consider device retirement. IT teams can help to determine when devices are reaching their end of life (EOL). When this date approaches, employees must be notified and given instructions on how to retire devices.
In the past, employees would typically drop their devices off to IT. With the increasing prevalence of remote work arrangements, IT teams have recently begun shipping boxes to work-from-home employees, who will then ship their device to the organization.
Once devices are retrieved, it’s up to businesses to determine how they’ll be handled. Decommissioning processes should include data wiping, as well as recycling and refurbishment to recover the greatest value for late-model mobile devices. Proper device retirement also promotes data security, as allowing devices to sit unused or having them processed through the wrong channels can introduce risks of data breaches.
Quantum takes a secure, economical approach to mobile device retirement, helping companies prevent data breaches and reap the greatest ROI in the last step of their device lifecycle plan. Find out more about how we can help your business retire its old devices safely and securely here.