If your business doesn't have a strong mobile device lifecycle management program, you may not be making the best decisions about which mobile devices to use. You may also be opening yourself up to security vulnerabilities.
A mobile device lifecycle management program can either be implemented by your business' IT department or by an outside managed IT provider. To help you learn more about lifecycle management and how it can help your business, read on to discover the necessary steps of an effective program.
The first step in mobile device lifecycle management is to determine which mobile devices to purchase for employees. This takes into account business requirements, your business' current mobile device ecosystem (such as Windows, Android or iOS), and your business' budget.
Once a list of suitable mobile devices has been created, vendors will be contacted and a procurement deal will be negotiated. When the devices arrive at your business, each device will be entered into an inventory list and tracked throughout its entire lifecycle.
2. Deployment and Training
Rolling out a mobile device upgrade can be a complicated project, and it's typically taken slowly. Data from old mobile devices will be migrated to the new ones, and your IT staff will integrate the new devices into your business' network.
As each employee receives their new mobile device, they'll be trained in how to use it. This training needs to be devised to specifically account for important differences between the old devices and the new ones.
3. Maintenance and Security Updates
Maintenance is the most important part of mobile device lifecycle management. Unfortunately, no mobile device is perfect. Your IT staff will provide your employees with support for their new mobile devices during this time.
Importantly, every problem with the new mobile devices will be logged. This includes both problems with the device and instances where employees had trouble using them.
Security updates are provided during this period as well. Software and firmware versions of each individual device will be automatically tracked as part of the mobile device lifecycle management program, which allows your IT staff to easily see which devices need to be updated. This is an important feature of mobile device lifecycle management that reduces the chance that your business will be exposed to security risks.
Once the new mobile devices begin to reach the end of their lifespan, it's time to review their performance.
All of the data that was collected during the maintenance phase will be used to judge how well the devices performed. This allows your mobile device lifecycle management team to spot several problems.
For example, if your employees often had trouble using their new devices, there may not have been enough training during the deployment phase. On the other hand, you may decide to choose a different mobile device vendor next time if the devices themselves were frequently suffering from hardware or software problems.
The last phase of mobile device lifecycle management occurs when it's time to obsolete the new mobile devices. Since your business' entire inventory of the devices has been tracked, this is a simple process.
Your IT staff will use the inventory data to determine how to best dispose of them. In most cases, it's best to sell old mobile devices to companies that refurbish them. In order to do that, your IT staff needs to ensure that the data on them has been securely deleted.
Overall, the purpose of tracking all of your mobile device inventory is because these steps aren't set in stone. Before your IT staff can securely delete the data on the obsolete mobile devices, the data needs to be migrated to the next set of mobile devices your company uses during the deployment phase.
Before the deployment phase, you need to undergo the procurement phase, and that phase relies on the data collected during the evaluation phase. In other words, true mobile lifecycle device management isn't about managing a single generation of mobile devices that your business uses. It's about meticulously tracking your entire inventory of mobile devices across generations, and using all of the data collected to inform future purchases that best fulfill your business requirements.
In order to accomplish all that and make the best procurement decisions, your business needs a strong mobile device lifecycle management program.