Workforce mobility is an increasingly growing trend, and companies are transitioning to a more mobile or fully remote workforce. Since COVID-19, mobile device use has grown exponentially in the workforce, and employers are scrambling to keep up. In 2020, 87% of businesses depend on employees accessing mobile business apps from their smartphones.

When establishing a mobility management strategy, the enterprise has two primary options, Mobile Device Management (MDM) or Virtual Mobility Infrastructure (VMI).

MDM offers high local security levels, allowing control of the entire device, straight down to the hardware. However, an MDM program is expensive in both upfront costs and ongoing maintenance and administration costs.

VMI costs less upfront and carries lower ongoing expenses. VMI also maintains robust security through innovative architecture.

Hardware and Administrative Costs

Companies may implement MDM by purchasing devices for their workforce. The initial outlay cost varies considerably based on purchased device quality and workforce size. Regardless of the overall cost, MDM inherently carries high upfront hardware expenses. For MDM allowing personal device use, a common budget-conscious approach, companies must manage, maintain, and update thousands of individual, often out-of-date and unsafe devices. This option raises privacy concerns as the company gains complete control of the employee’s device.

Ongoing costs are high for MDM. Dedicated administrative personnel may be required for troubleshooting, training employees, and managing device updates. This additional maintenance could mean lower productivity with employees spending time updating devices and visiting the IT help center. Another MDM cost is lifecycle management.

According to Cisco, companies favoring Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) approaches save $350 per employee per year. VMI solutions with BYOD carry low upfront costs and are common and popular, with no hardware costs. Simultaneously, VMI leverages a remote containerized environment, which means IT can update all domains concurrently with one button click. IT can also instantly propagate the entire workforce’s latest security patches. VMS BYOD means employees manage their device lifecycles, reducing work for the company.

The Ease of Implementation

Implementing an MDM program requires a calculated user study and market options, understanding employee needs, hardware quality, and price. On the other hand, VMI requires employees to install a single app on their smartphones, making it easy to set up and roll out.

VMI has other advantages. Due to its remote container design, management gains flexibility. IT can centrally and instantly change working environment parameters such as apps and security measures and reset the containers without needing access to every physical device.

MDM requires individually updating all employees’ physical devices to accomplish environmental changes. Instead, VMI makes it easy to resegment central server resources for specific containers if one team needs more computing power. MDM users are stuck with that which local hardware provides.

User Adoption: The Costs of Resistance

The ease of VMI implementation translates into better user adoption. Rather than requiring employees to carry both a personal and work device, which is often the case with MDM, VMI seamlessly integrates employees’ smartphones with a downloadable app. Company-issued devices are a thing of the past. They are costly to organizations, and with the proliferation and high penetration of personal smartphones, carrying a second phone for work is burdensome. Allowing employees to use personal devices at work improves adoption and productivity.

In addition to its integrated nature, VMI installs a single, non-invasive app with access to all the computing power of an entire server rack. Companies do not gain visibility into and control of employees’ devices with VMI because the implementation is virtual and no corporate data ever resides on mobile devices. Better computing power and less invasive implementation also raise adoption and improve employee morale.

MDM program resistance carries high costs. At best, resistance means slower roll-out, lower productivity, and unbalanced work capacity. At worst, it means costly data breaches when users circumvent security measures. Checking email and downloading attachments on a personal device quickly normalizes and negates MDM security benefits. Employees also resist or reject MDM because of privacy concerns. With an MDM solution, a compromised personal device would likely be remote-wiped, putting their personal data at risk. For any reason, resistance means diminished utilization of the MDM solution, essentially wasting invested time and capital.

The No-Solution Approach

Some firms may avoid forming a remote strategy altogether. This approach may be the least costly in the short term, but it’s risky.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, mobility was a trend at even the most conservative firms, where employees might have replied to emails from outside the office. The pandemic accelerated that trend, particularly as many employees are now encouraged to work entirely remotely. Neglecting to build a mobile strategy is a path to being left behind in the 2020s.

Doing nothing to create a mobility strategy also promotes a grassroots, do-it-yourself mentality. To meet modern workplace demands, employees will create their own remote access solutions. These solutions often neglect security, exposing a broader attack surface and reducing IT’s ability to protect confidential data.

Virtual Mobility Infrastructure Saves Money, Productivity, and Data Integrity

VMI directly saves money over an MDM program because it has no upfront hardware costs and costs less administratively with BYOD. Even when personal devices are used in both solutions, VMI is centrally managed, saving on administrative costs. VMI maintains high productivity levels, encourages adoption, and rolls out updates thoroughly and rapidly. MDM is costly and often rejected. No strategy is possibly the worst of the three options.

Hypori Virtual Mobility™ delivers enterprise-level VMI integration and scalability through a single, non-invasive app that connects to remote, server-based containers. Hypori is cost-effective and centrally-managed without the need ever to access individual employee devices. Employees install just one work app, and companies get a fully-mobile workforce. Hypori is also user-friendly and quickly adopted because it sits on users’ devices, looks and feels familiar, and allows employees to maintain control of their own phones.

Hypori ®’s innovative architecture ensures robust security thanks to 100% data separation of personal and enterprise data and military-grade security. Learn more about how Hypori is the best cost-saving virtual mobility solution for your enterprise.

VMI vs MDM

Free whitepaper compares MDM to Hypori, the virtual mobile infrastructure that makes truly secure BYOD a reality.

Enterprise Mobile Device Management Comparison

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