Smartphones and tablets are offering a new challenge for IT professionals everywhere and TechTarget contributor Philip Clarke wrote that variability and knowing the specific requirements of each device is becoming more important IT departments. Controls, such as those offered by mobile device management, are now necessary to make sure data stored on these devices is secure. Especially in the face of a bring your own device environment, IT organizations must rely on tools such as this to ensure the workforce follows best practices even in light of attacks that specifically target employees.

While looking through the always-shifting amount of mobile device management features, it is difficult for even the most up-to-date IT professional, there are always key considerations that must be thought about before anything else. Clarke said reviewing mobile provisioning policies, evaluating expectations of the near future for the mobile population, tracking the amount of employee-owned devices and using the policy to dictate the amount of education employees receive can be imperative to the success of a given program.

According to a study from the Nemertes Research Group, 46 percent of companies have deployed mobile device management and 84 percent expect to do so by the end of 2014. Analysts suggested companies need to start planning right away, as 25 percent of employees are expected to use their tablets for work by the end of 2014 and 10 percent have already replaced their laptops with a tablet or smartphone. Clarke said many new technologies, such as WLAN integration, secure document sharing, mobile application management and more are becoming available to organizations through software they can purchase.

"Of these MDM features, mobile application management, which is used by 29 percent of companies today, is the most widely adopted and crucial," Clarke wrote on TechTarget. "In the same way that consumer and app-centric devices are driving adoption of enterprise mobile device management technologies, companies' growing app development initiatives require management through MAM and enterprise app stores."

Best practices for MDM software use
IT Business Edge said organizations that adopt mobile device management in concert with a BYOD policy should be sure they are being realistic about their policy and what it will support. Basic security aspects need to be covered through the software, such as remote wipe, passwords and encryption. Organizations must first gain insight into who will be using the program and which devices they are going to utilize to more fully understand BYOD at their company.