Thanks to cell phones, we are more connected than ever before in human history. According to Statista, a staggering 91% of the world’s population owns a cell phone, and 83.4% have smartphones. But it’s not just that we all have them; it’s that we all use them — all the time.
A reviews.org survey found that Americans check their phones 344 times per day on average, culminating in a total of 1,056 hours (44 days!) spent on our phones in 2022. With usage statistics like this, it’s no surprise many people have begun using their phones for business activities — and many companies have condoned or even encouraged this use. Cell phones offer unmatched convenience and portability, especially in remote and flexible business environments.
But the convenience of mobile device use can come at a cost, especially for managed service providers (MSPs) tasked with device management for multiple client companies. Management gets even more complex with tech-forward clients, where the average user may have a company cell phone, a laptop, a tablet, and company data on a personal device.
The best way for MSPs to combat this mobile device sprawl is to implement a mobile device management (MDM) solution as part of their clients’ tech stack. MDM is the strategy you use to enroll, configure, and secure portable business devices. It includes both software solutions and IT management practices.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the benefits of mobile device management for MSPs, and share JumpCloud’s unique MDM features that make managing your clients’ mobile devices easier than ever before.
Use Cases of MDM for MSPs
MDM is a crucial tool to help MSPs effectively oversee and safeguard mobile devices within their clients’ environments. By leveraging MDM, MSPs can streamline device enrollment, enforce security measures, and ensure compliance with regulatory requirements. MDM also enables MSPs to remotely troubleshoot issues and offer support services while improving client productivity, since the user gets to work on whichever device they prefer.
Remote Management of Devices
MDM empowers MSPs to effectively manage devices remotely through a range of capabilities.
With a centralized multi-tenant portal like JumpCloud, MSPs gain a comprehensive view of device inventory, configurations, and statuses, enabling them to remotely perform tasks like provisioning, policy enforcement, application deployment, and security updates. Leveraging over-the-air management, MSPs can remotely configure device settings, push software updates, and distribute applications without requiring physical access to each device.
Additionally, MDM facilitates remote support and troubleshooting, allowing MSPs to remotely access devices, view screens, and control settings to diagnose and resolve issues. This remote management approach enhances response time, reduces costs, and improves the overall support experience for clients by eliminating the need for on-site visits.
Secure Device Access and Data Protection
MDM allows MSPs to enforce strong security measures on mobile devices like password policies, device encryption, and multifactor authentication, ensuring that only authorized users can access the devices and sensitive data. By centrally managing security settings, MSPs can consistently enforce security across all managed devices, reducing the risk of unauthorized access.
MSPs can also use MDM to remotely wipe or lock devices in the case of loss or theft. This capability ensures that sensitive data stored on the devices remains protected – even if the physical device falls into the wrong hands. MSPs can trigger a remote wipe command, erasing all data on the device, or initiate a remote lock to prevent unauthorized access until the device is recovered or reset.
MDM also allows MSPs to define and enforce data protection policies on mobile devices. They can set restrictions on data sharing, prevent the use of unauthorized or unsecured applications, and enable secure containers or encrypted file systems to safeguard corporate data. By managing data access and controlling how data is stored and transmitted on devices, MSPs can mitigate the risk of data breaches and ensure compliance with industry regulations.
One of the key ways MDM assists in compliance is by enforcing security policies and measures on mobile devices. MSPs can define and implement policies such as device encryption, password complexity, and screen lock requirements to align with regulatory standards. By ensuring that devices are configured and managed in accordance with compliance regulations, MSPs can demonstrate their commitment to maintaining a secure environment for their clients’ sensitive data.
Moreover, MDM enables MSPs to monitor and track device compliance with corporate security policies and regulatory requirements. MSPs can generate comprehensive reports that provide insights into device configurations, security status, and compliance metrics. These reports help MSPs assess the effectiveness of their mobile device management strategies, identify areas of non-compliance, and take proactive steps to address any gaps or vulnerabilities.
MDM also aids in data protection and privacy compliance. MSPs can define policies regarding data access, sharing, and encryption on mobile devices, ensuring that sensitive information is handled appropriately. MDM allows MSPs to enforce restrictions on data transfer between corporate and personal applications, block access to unauthorized or insecure applications, and implement secure containers to separate corporate data from personal data.
By implementing MDM solutions, MSPs can optimize the usage and management of mobile devices, leading to enhanced productivity for both them, and their clients’ employees.
MDM allows MSPs to streamline the provisioning and deployment of devices. They can pre-configure devices with the necessary settings, applications, and security policies, ensuring that employees receive fully functional devices that are ready for immediate use. This eliminates the time and effort employees would have spent setting up devices manually, enabling them to start working quickly and efficiently.
MDM also provides centralized application management capabilities. MSPs can remotely deploy, update, and manage applications across devices. This ensures that employees have access to the latest relevant applications they need to perform their tasks effectively. MSPs can also restrict the installation of unauthorized or non-business-related applications, preventing potential distractions and improving productivity.
MDM facilitates remote troubleshooting and support. MSPs can remotely access devices, view screens, and diagnose issues, allowing them to provide timely support without requiring employees to visit IT support desks physically. This reduces downtime, as employees can receive prompt assistance, enabling them to resume their work swiftly and minimizing productivity disruptions. MSPs can even implement productivity-enhancing device settings, like email and calendar synchronization, push notifications, and automated workflows, to optimize employee workflows and enable seamless collaboration.
Benefits of Implementing MDM Software for Client Management
Simply put, managing multiple companies’ multiple mobile devices for multiple users is a full-time job for more than one MSP employee. And oversights in this management process can quickly lead to security breaches and cyberattacks. Instituting a MDM solution reduces your costs as an MSP, increases your efficiency by freeing your employees up for more complex tasks, and gives you a competitive advantage over other MSPs in the marketplace.
Cost Savings for Clients and MSPs
While centralizing around a new tech core may require an initial cost investment, over time, MDM can actually save you and your clients money.
First off, MDM’s increased security and oversight means your MSP and its clients are less likely to experience a data breach. This is no small thing; a 2022 study by Verizon found that 45% of organizations have recently experienced mobile-related security breaches, while an IBM report determined a data breach costs a company an average of $4.35 million in 2022. If a price tag like that would cripple you or your clients’ business, MDM is well worth the initial investment.
MDM also allows MSPs to automate a lot of functions that otherwise have to be managed by a live employee. That allows you to get more work done with fewer employees, which can provide additional cost savings.
Increased Efficiency and Productivity
MDM represents the gold standard in efficiency — especially for MSPs managing multiple clients’ businesses and devices. Cloud MDM’s remote oversight means your admins can view and manage all devices for a business in a single pane of glass. This can take tasks like patch updates from hours to minutes to deploy in a batch. In the event of a data breach, the affected devices can quickly be located and decommissioned from any location.
One of the greatest opportunities for increased efficiency with MDM comes in the onboarding and offboarding processes. MDM allows for device enrollment (like Apple Business Manager), meaning MSPs can institute zero-touch deployment for their clients. When a new employee joins a client’s business, their work phone and computer can be sent via zero-touch deployment. As soon as the employee receives the devices and logs in, Business Manager will complete the enrollment and authentication processes. All the MSP admin has to do in this process is enroll the new employee in the MDM program and select the appropriate applications for them to have access to.
The containerization of these devices also makes decommissioning a device or offboarding an existing employee quick and easy. Should a device be compromised or an employee leave the organization, all company info can be remotely removed from their mobile device immediately — without disrupting any personal user data.
Enhanced Security and Compliance
The biggest draw of implementing MDM for MSPs is the peace of mind you and your clients will enjoy from heightened security. MDM solutions offer remote administrator privileges, like security command execution (lock, shut down, restart, wipe), patch management, and strong password and multi-factor authentication (MFA) enforcement policies.
This significantly cuts down on the risk of your clients’ sensitive company data being compromised. In the event an employee’s phone (personal or company) is stolen or otherwise compromised, IT admins can remotely clear the device of all work-related information in mere seconds using their MDM’s single pane of glass. You can also push required security updates or policies directly from your console to your client’s devices, ensuring anything connected to their company resources remains as secure as possible.
Better Customer Service and Satisfaction
For MSPs specifically, including MDM in your tech stack also gives you a competitive advantage over other MSPs in your space, because it improves your customer experience.
Clients get increased peace of mind knowing their devices are under close watch with many remote-based controls. They can rest easy knowing that in the event of a data breach, their devices can quickly be wiped and issues can be addressed promptly, all without losing their data thanks to cloud backup.
Your increased efficiency can also be a selling point for your customers, since the time you free up on manually managing their devices can be reinvested into additional training, customer service, and client relationship building.
JumpCloud’s MDM Solution for MSPs
While some MDM solutions are created for on-prem use, the superior choice in MDM is a cloud-based application that works in a heterogeneous environment. Cloud-native platforms are the natural fit for remote and distributed workplaces, and they’re easy to scale and expand based on your clients’ changing business needs.
JumpCloud streamlines MDM by giving admins the ability to create fleet-wide configurations for multiple devices and operating systems from a single unified platform. For MSPs, that means you can create a unique configuration based on each client’s needs and preferences just once — then automatically apply it to all future devices that enter that business network.
When comparing MDM providers, consider these unique features that make JumpCloud a standout choice.
MDM Support for Multi-Tier Multi-Tenancy
JumpCloud’s Multi-Tenant Portal (MTP) allows you to manage all your MSP clients within the same platform. The single pane of glass shows you every client organization under your MSP, including the number of current users, devices, and applications. Top-level data for each client gives you better visibility, with metrics on user counts, enabled directory features, and devices under management.
BYOD and Remote Work Management
Use our platform agnostic open directory to centrally manage and patch Windows, Mac, and Linux devices. Create bring your own device (BYOD) policies that provide for business security without interfering with users’ privacy or personal data. Connect users to their on-prem applications and servers no matter where they are working from using LDAP, and deploy cloud RADIUS servers to provision and deprovision access to VPN and Wi-Fi networks.
Quickly and easily transition your clients to a Zero Trust framework for the utmost in security. Single sign-on (SSO) offers clients secure and passwordless authentication to their applications and services, while push MFA enables you to create greatly increased login security. Policy-driven access controls can prohibit access to your client’s resources when their users aren’t on a trusted network or device, or require additional verification factors.
Patching and Compliance
Implementing Zero Trust helps to meet SOC, HIPAA, GDPR, and PCI compliance requirements with control over user and administrator access. Use JumpCloud’s web-based console to restrict user and admin access across your clients’ business environments, and deploy device-level policies, such as full-disk encryption. Easily create schedules and manage all devices’ patch processes in your single console, providing greater visibility.
Use Apple’s Automated Device Enrollment to remotely enroll macOS, iOS, and iPadOS devices in MDM. Automatically enroll devices into JumpCloud MDM during the new device out-of-box experience. After devices are enrolled in JumpCloud MDM, IT admins have management and configuration control over the managed devices. You can also customize zero-touch onboarding to provide a consistent, personalized experience for your clients’ new users. After a user authenticates with zero-touch onboarding on the device, JumpCloud automatically binds the device to the user.
MDM for MSPs Is Made Easier with JumpCloud
As an MSP, keeping track of all your clients’ devices can be a challenge, and logging in and out of each one can take up a lot of time.
The JumpCloud Directory Platform with MTP is a centralized platform that combines client management, SSO, device management, policy management, and more behind a single pane of glass. The software integrates with file sharing services, and provides advanced reporting options to help MSPs save time, stay organized, and work efficiently.