Mobile Device Management (MDM)

Mobile Device Management (MDM) is the process of monitoring, managing, and securing mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops used in enterprises to access data. It’s a type of security software used by an IT department to enhance data security and improve productivity. The overall purpose of MDM is to increase device supportability, security, and corporate functionality while maintaining user flexibility.

The widespread proliferation of consumerization of IT means more personal consumer (PC) computing devices are brought to the workplace by employees for use and connectivity on the corporate network. Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) has become widely adopted to refer to these employee devices. Today’s category of MDM software is one way that an organization can deliver secure mobile solutions to its BYOD workforce.


With the increasing adoption and popularity of mobile devices in the workplace, MDM has now evolved into Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM), or the set of people, processes, and technology focused on the management of mobile devices, wireless networks, and other mobile computing services in an enterprise context. The terms are not interchangeable, but rather MDM is considered a part of EMM. EMM covers the entire suite of mobility management solutions, including application, content, and identity management, whereas MDM focuses on mobile devices and their security.

Functions of MDM

MDM tools manage corporate data segregation which is the principle by which access and storage of a given dataset is segmented ecure emails and corporate devices, enforce policies, and integrate mobile devices. Other core functions include:

  • Ensuring that user equipment, however diverse, is configured to a consistent standard set of applications, functions, or corporate policies.
  • Updating equipment, applications, functions, or policies
  • Ensuring that users are using applications in a consistent and supportable manner
  • Ensuring that equipment performs consistently
  • Monitoring and tracking equipment
  • Diagnosing and troubleshooting equipment remotely

Benefits of MDM software

Control over all mobile devices

Using an MDM tool allows organizations to have better visibility over their devices as software pulls valuable data from the managed devices. The IT department within an organization knows which devices are in use and their security level. It’s also possible to restrict access based on device, and even to partition between personal and corporate environments on a device


While PCs and laptops typically have pre-installed malware protection, tablets and mobile devices are more vulnerable to cyber attacks. MDM will safeguard devices while staying compliant with data protection regulations, such as GDPR, HIPAA, ELD, and CJIS.

Increased productivity & lower costs

Automating device enrollments and configurations both lowers the chance of human error and the management time consumed. MDM provides a path for securing devices without a huge investment or hiring an in-house IT specialist.

Other MDM meanings

MDM also stands for Master Data Management, which is a technology-enabled discipline in which business and IT work together to ensure the uniformity, accuracy, stewardship, consistency, and accountability of an enterprise’s shared master data assets. It focuses on the management and interlinking of reference or master data that is shared by different systems and used by different groups within an organization.



Vangie Beal
Vangie Beal is a freelance business and technology writer covering Internet technologies and online business since the late '90s.

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