Managing Mobile with System Center Configuration Manager

July 16, 2014 By

You’re the man behind the curtain, who runs the IT department for your organization.   Recently it seems, there is a steady stream of users that parade by your office informing you of their dire need  for corporate support for the latest mobile device they have acquired, so they can access the internal network and their work applications from the same device they use for personal use.   In your mind, you know this presents a myriad of problems including consistent accessibility to resources, authentication methods, ability to manage and configure the device effectively at scale, and especially the security of corporate data on that device.    The number of users you support these days just doesn’t allow for manual support of devices anymore – but who can keep up with every new mobile device anyway?

At this point, having the ability to deploy automated management of mobile devices as part of your IT support strategy can become absolutely critical.    Microsoft has a great response to this with their latest version of System Center Configuration Manager.    Configuration Manager has certainly evolved over the years, bringing IT Pros the ability to discover and inventory devices, distribute software and updates, and even perform complex operating system deployments with relative ease.   In years past, much of its functionality tied a single user to a single device – which made managing devices and users’ access much simpler.   However, this just isn’t the reality for the current corporate in today’s landscape.

So what does the average corporate user look like today?

  • Today, 52% of corporate users use at least three devices as part of their daily work routine.
  • To support their productivity, they utilize four times as many applications and three times as much data.

Because of this, demand for multiple device support in the corporate environment has never been higher.  In order to support the growing need for work mobility, Configuration Manager can now deliver critical mobile device management by:

  • Supporting all major mobile operating systems, including Android and iOS.   Registration of these devices is simplified and there is consistent access to company resources and synchronized corporate data.
  • Giving you the ability to have comprehensive settings management spanning platforms including certificates, VPNs, and wireless network profiles.
  • Protecting corporate data using selective wipe of all corporate applications, configurations, and data that was installed on their personal mobile device.  When a user leaves the company, removing any proprietary data has been simplified for IT – and leaves all their personal data and applications untouched.

This last capability is probably one of the biggest ones.   Because your overworked information security team has been giving you funny looks in the hall when you announced you were going to provide corporate support for all major mobile devices – they are already envisioning long weekends responding to the latest zero-day exploit that came as a result of this fantastic new policy.   But with the ability to accurately target removal of potentially sensitive corporate data when an employee leaves the company, this can help folks sleep just a bit better at night.

For now, the mobile market continues its climb and is becoming a major part of our lives, both at work and at home.  So today’s IT configuration management solutions absolutely need the ability to support the corporate users’ need to be productive (and secure) no matter where there are or what they’re using.