What is remote device management: Ultimate guide for 2024
Distributed companies rely heavily on different types of equipment for their IT operations. From smartphones and laptops to IoT-enabled devices, managing the ever-increasing number of interconnected devices is a huge challenge for IT teams. Coordinating, securing, and optimizing devices can be daunting and costly, especially with workers spread out across the globe.
Remote device management or MDM software provides a seamless solution. With intuitive capabilities, businesses can gain control over their devices regardless of their physical location, especially in industries where employees work remotely but handle sensitive corporate data, like the finance industry.
In this ultimate guide, we will explore the key aspects of remote device management in 2024, including what it is, key features, top platforms, and the benefits it brings to distributed teams.
What is remote device management?
Remote Device Management (MDM) refers to administrating and controlling various devices, such as smartphones, tablets, laptops, and IoT devices, from a centralized location.
The main objective of MDM is to simplify equipment management, enhance security, and ensure smooth functionality for distributed teams. This is often achieved through specialized software, like MDM tools for organizations, that allows IT admins to monitor, configure, update, and troubleshoot devices remotely.
Key features of remote device management
Most remote device management solutions provide powerful features that allow users to remotely control company-owned devices. Remote device management can be part of your cyber security audit checklist to ensure your corporate-owned data stays safe. Here's a breakdown of the most common features:
Remote factory reset
This feature allows users to remotely wipe all data and settings from a device, restoring it to its factory default state. It is handy in case of lost or stolen devices to protect sensitive information from being leaked.
Remote access and control
MDM enables IT admins to access and control remote devices as if they were physically present, allowing them to troubleshoot issues, transfer files, configure settings, and perform necessary actions.
Remote monitoring and alerts
Administrators can continuously monitor device performance and receive real-time alerts for any unusual activity, and prevent data breaches or system failures.
Manage device users and access permission
MDM enables users to manage user accounts, control access permissions, and apply security policies to ensure data integrity.
IT teams can send notifications, messages, or updates to remote devices to keep users informed and up to date.
Lock down devices remotely
This feature allows administrators to remotely lock down devices, so you can block unauthorized data access to specific applications or functionalities for security purposes.
Automatically update apps
MDM platforms can automate the process of updating applications on remote devices, ensuring that machines have the latest software updates and security patches.
Track remote devices
IT admins can track the location of remote devices using built-in GPS or other location-based technologies, aiding in device recovery in case of theft.
This feature helps locate misplaced devices by causing them to emit loud rings or sounds, even if the device is in silent mode.
Wipe the data
Managers and IT admins can remotely wipe all data from the device to prevent unauthorized access in case of lost or stolen equipment.
Schedule regular scans
Remote device management services can be set up to automatically conduct regular security scans on distributed equipment, identifying and addressing potential vulnerabilities before they become larger issues.
Change the owner and device ownership
IT admins can transfer ownership of devices or change the assigned users as needed without having to go into an office.
MDM platforms often allow bulk importing of contacts onto remote devices, simplifying onboarding processes.
Remote content management
Managers can remotely manage and distribute content such as documents, images, and videos to specific devices or groups of devices.
Remote device management platforms
A remote device management platform simplifies the process of managing numerous devices remotely. A good MDM platform allows quick and effective troubleshooting, device control, and security maintenance.
With MDM platforms, remote training, device setup, collaboration, and easy management can be achieved from a single platform. Most remote device management solutions can work with Windows devices, iOS devices and Android devices
Microsoft Endpoint Manager
Microsoft Endpoint Manager is a cloud-based solution that helps manage, deploy, and secure devices in the enterprise, including servers, PCs, and mobile devices. This solution also allows the IT department to create BYOD policies.
This remote device management solution includes several well-known Microsoft services that manage an organization's physical, virtual, and mobile devices. It has features such as:
- Microsoft Intune for mobile device management
- Configuration Manager for deploying applications and managing updates
- Co-management for tying Intune and Configuration Manager together
- Desktop Analytics for identifying issues
- Windows Autopilot for automating device deployment
- Azure Active Directory for storing device and user information
- Endpoint Manager Admin Center for managing the various sub-components
JumpCloud is a zero-trust directory platform that enables IT teams to manage and connect their identities to various resources, regardless of the provider or location. It allows administrators to manage users and systems from a single location while providing secure access to resources with access controls and protocols.
JumpCloud offers the following identity management features:
- ID-Management Access Control
- Multi-Factor Authentication
- Password Management
- Account Provisioning and De-provisioning
- ID Management Workflow Automation
- ID Risk Management
How to implement remote device management
Before implementing a remote device management solution, you first need to evaluate your current device management infrastructure and identify your organization's unique requirements and pain points. This includes assessing the types and quantity of devices used, operating systems, and configurations.
Collaboration with IT teams and end-users can provide valuable insights into challenges with the current approach. Additionally, it's important to assess current security protocols and identify potential vulnerabilities to improve network security.
Choose the right solution
When selecting a remote device management solution for your organization, consider features and functionality, security measures, user-friendly interface, vendor support, and reputation.
Look for a solution that offers remote device monitoring, configuration management, and real-time troubleshooting, as well as robust encryption, multi-factor authentication, and granular access controls.
Prioritize intuitive and user-friendly interfaces and partner with reputable vendors known for reliable support services and a track record in the industry.
Before rolling out your MDM solution, conduct a pilot test with a small subset of devices and users. Monitor the solution's performance and gather feedback from IT staff and end-users to identify any challenges or necessary adjustments.
Rollout and traning
Successful implementation of MDM requires comprehensive training sessions for IT teams and end-users. Collaborate with your MDM provider to organize interactive training workshops, webinars, or user guides tailored to your organization's needs.
Maintain open lines of communication with your team and promptly address any concerns or questions during the rollout phase. This investment in training will empower your staff to leverage the full potential of MDM, enhancing productivity and minimizing disruptions during the transition.
Overall, the easiest way to implement a remote IT asset management solution is by using a service like GroWrk that delivers all your equipment with remote device management software preinstalled.
Benefits of using remote device management software for distributed teams
This software provides a centralized solution for managing devices in a distributed team setup. With this software, IT administrators can remotely access and configure devices, troubleshoot real-time issues, and update software seamlessly. This eliminates the need for on-site visits and manual interventions, streamlines device management processes, and frees time for strategic initiatives.
It also enables distributed teams to work efficiently from anywhere at any time. It allows employees to use their preferred devices and operating systems while providing secure remote access to company resources. MDM facilitates prompt issue resolution, maximizing employee productivity and ensuring a conducive atmosphere for creativity, innovation, and timely project delivery.
MDM software helps maintain consistency in device configurations and security settings for successful organizations. It simplifies implementing standardized device profiles and configurations remotely, decrease security risks and ensuring that team members operate on a level playing field. This fosters a sense of unity within the organization and maintains data integrity.
MDM software offers significant cost savings for distributed teams by automating device management and troubleshooting. It also empowers organizations to make data-driven decisions, optimizing resource allocation and avoiding unnecessary expenditures on underutilized assets. Streamlined device management enhances the return on investment for IT infrastructure, boosting the overall profitability and competitiveness of the organization.
As we move into the remote and hybrid work era, managing devices for remote and in-person employees requires streamlined and efficient solutions. Remote device management has automated device management, allowing companies to onboard remote employees more quickly from anywhere in the world.
Remote device management makes a huge difference for distributed teams, allowing them to coordinate, secure and optimize devices efficiently from a centralized platform. Even when spread across multiple locations, making it an essential tool for distributed IT teams.
This technology has become critical in managing the many devices needed for hybrid work models. It offers businesses an intuitive solution to simplify device management and improve security and productivity while guaranteeing they stay on track with changing business trends.GroWrk can help your organization by providing inventory management for IT assets on a global scale. Whether you have team members with company-owned hardware in one or more countries, you can seamlessly manage all of them using our platform. Book a call today to get started.
1. What is remote access?
Remote access refers to the ability to connect and access a computer or device from a distant location using a network or the internet. In many cases, it allows you to monitor a device's screen, allowing you to observe all activity.
It allows users or administrators to control and use the remote device as if physically in front of it. This feature is commonly used for technical support, troubleshooting, file sharing, and collaboration, especially in scenarios where the admin and the device are not in the same physical location.
2. What is remote control?
Remote control is the ability to completely control a device from a distance. This goes beyond just remote access, as it allows administrators to view the device's screen and manipulate it. With remote control, an authorized user can interact with a remote machine as if using it in person. This allows them to perform tasks, run applications, and troubleshoot problems from afar.
3. What is remote monitoring, and how is it different from remote control or access?
Remote monitoring involves observing and tracking devices' real-time status, performance, and activities. Unlike remote control or access, remote monitoring does not grant direct control over the remote device. Instead, it gives administrators insights into device health, resource usage, security events, and potential issues. Remote monitoring is valuable for proactive maintenance, identifying anomalies, and ensuring devices function optimally.
4. Are remote access and control safe?
Remote access and control can be safe when implemented and used correctly with appropriate security measures. It is crucial to use secure communication protocols, robust authentication mechanisms, and access controls to prevent unauthorized data access. Keeping software and applications up-to-date with security patches is also essential to minimize vulnerabilities. Users should only grant this kind of access to trusted individuals or services and remain vigilant. Overall, remote device management will depend on the security measures of your solution.
5. How does remote device management Work?
Remote Device Management (RDM) typically follows an agent-based approach. Here's a quick description of the workflow:
a. Agent-based approach:
Devices intended for remote management are equipped with an RDM agent. This agent is a communication interface between the device and the centralized management platform.
b. Communication protocols:
The RDM agent communicates with the management platform using secure communication protocols over the Internet or a private network.
c. Authentication and authorization:
To ensure security, users or administrators attempting to access remote devices must undergo authentication processes. Proper authorization levels are assigned to control the access level to the device.
d. Over-the-air deployment:
RDM solutions can be deployed remotely "over the air" to devices without requiring physical access. This allows for quick and efficient management of devices spread across various locations.
6. What types of devices can be managed remotely?
Remote device management allows for the centralized control and administration of a wide range of devices, including computers, mobile devices, network devices, and IoT devices. Endpoints with networking ability, such as Android-based, iOS, Windows-based, and Linux-based devices, can be managed remotely.
7. How should I implement remote device management in my company?
To implement remote device management in your company, you must research and choose an appropriate MDM platform that aligns with your company's needs and supports the devices used by employees. Ensure the chosen platform provides robust security features to keep your company's information safe.
Consider enlisting a service like GroWrk that provides devices preinstalled with remote device management software, simplifying the deployment process.