Elements of an MDM Strategy Part 6 – Devices

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This post is part of a series. The previous posts in the series can be found here:

Elements of an MDM Strategy Part 1 – Defining the Problem Space

Elements of an MDM Strategy Part 2 – Applications

Elements of an MDM Strategy Part 3 – Users

Elements of an MDM Strategy Part 4 – Data Access and Protection

Elements of an MDM Strategy Part 5 – Management

So far we have focussed on elements of an MDM strategy that are more heavily weighted towards created a high quality user experience while meeting enterprise policy and management requirements. We’ve really avoided discussing the actual mobile device. For many organizations the Mobile Device Management strategy evolves out of the device choice that they (or their users) make and are often reactions to incidents or tactical manoeuvres to address specific concerns. Organizations that want to be more proactive can find it difficult to shift the paradigm because the consumerization of IT is accelerating and IT departments are struggling to keep up. I know it’s counter intuitive but in order to have a successful MDM strategy it is imperative to understand the business requirements at the outset and prudent to understand the benefits of strategically selecting the devices that will be part of the strategy.

I have ignored to topic of devices up until this point not because of the relative importance of the subject, but because it is extremely important and in order to make educated decisions about devices, it is essential to understand the other subject areas as they all impact upon the device in some way. In essence, by the time all of the questions about the other subject areas are answered, the majority of the decision points for devices will be addressed. For example, once you understand your mobile application strategy, you should know the mobile device operating systems that you will need to support. This will drive the device selection. As such the number of questions in this section is small compared to the other sections. The biggest new decision points are focused of device capabilities mapping to other requirements.

Based on all of the information you have gathered so far, here’s a starting point of the types of questions you need to answer in this part of your strategy:

  1. What mobile device operating systems will you support?
  2. Will you require them to support Open Management Alliance Device Management (OMA DM)?
  3. Will you require that the device support specific management agents?
  4. Will you require specific networking functionality from the device (WiFi, 3G, 4G, VPN, etc.)?
  5. Have you reviewed the application requirement questions?

Next Time

Now that we have a covered Applications, Users, Data Access & Protection, Management, and Devices, I’m going to do a wrap up post that ties them altogether.


A great reference for BYOD with a Microsoft slant can be found on TechNet.  I got a many of my ideas from this guide.

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