The role of mobile device management or MDM has evolved dramatically and rapidly over the last decade. With the use of smartphones and tablets both corporate owned and employee owned used a workplace devices, the need to provide security and backup data continues to grow.
Often businesses assume that MDM, since it provides security, access restrictions and even usage restrictions for BYOD and corporate devices, also provides some level of backup. This is not a correct assumption, and the two are very uniquely different aspects of protecting corporate data.
The Backup Issue
According to a study completed by TechTarget, the overwhelming number of smartphone and tablet users do not back up any content or data produced on the device. Even with laptops, only about 47% are backed up, which leads to a potential loss of data that is significant for any business to consider.
One reason that users may not see the need to specifically run backup software on tablets and smartphones is because of the use of cloud-based applications. In these cases the data is stored external to the device, but this only when the data is generated in the cloud-based application. In many cases, and for those using tablets more than smartphones, content is generated on the device, leaving it at risk for the potential of being corrupted or lost.
The MDM Solution
There are some mobile device management solutions that offer web portals or apps that run on smartphones and tablets to allow users access to protected data. In this way, data is saved to a particular component of the MDM software, and then can be accessed as needed. However, this is not the same as a full system backup that runs continually to ensure all data is always available.
Yet another way to incorporate the use of data storage for mobile devices is to use a cloud-based solution like Dropbox. This can utilize MDM password and access restriction features to provide only specific end-users with access to the data, adding to the network and web security.
It is very likely that mobile device management solutions are already working to develop the capacity to provide more comprehensive and complete backup systems for mobile devices. These systems will most likely, once they are fully developed and tested, move the MDM more into the EMM or Enterprise Mobility Management suite realm, capable of providing a full range of tools and services for all aspects of business on the go.