Stands for "Mobile Device Management."

MDM refers to the administration of a group of mobile devices, such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops. It allows a company or organization's IT staff to remotely manage devices from a central dashboard instead of supporting each device in person. MDM for businesses and organizations is typically SaaS provided by third-party vendors instead of device manufacturers.

Organizations install MDM on devices using a combination of software applications and system configuration settings. Once set up, IT staff can handle device management tasks remotely. For example, it can help ensure that system software and other applications are updated on a schedule or automatically install new applications when needed. It can help IT staff remotely troubleshoot support issues and even keep track of who is using a particular device and where it is.

MDM is also important when it comes to an organization's information security. First, IT staff can take steps to secure devices without the assistance of the users. Remote management limits vulnerabilities by ensuring software is updated, security patches installed, and unvetted software blocked. It can even enforce the use of a VPN. Finally, it allows for lost or stolen devices to be located or, if necessary, remotely disabled and their data erased.

NOTE: While the issues that MDM solves are more of a concern in businesses and organizations, many devices and operating systems include some basic MDM features for personal use. These features can help find a lost device or remotely disable or delete it if necessary.

Updated October 9, 2022 by Brian P.

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