What is Mobile Device Management?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 07 October 2019
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Mobile device management is a collective term that has to do with tools utilized to handle the distribution of data, applications, and settings on various types of mobile devices. One good example would be the tools that make the functionality of mobile phones possible. The end goal of mobile device management is to make use of these tools in a manner that provides a high level of working efficiency to the device, but does so with a minimum of expense and maintenance required.

Mobile communications devices function with a combination of local and remote components that must be configured to interact if the device is to work properly. As a basic set of components, the process of mobile device management will include the oversight of some sort of server component and a client component. The server is what receives and transmits the management commands to the actual device. At the opposite end, the client component receives the commands, relays the data to the appropriate programs running on the devise, and executes an order to obey the commands.


Over time, the process of mobile device management, or MDM, has become more precise and efficient. At one time, the configuration process had to take place in a wired environment, with a direct wired link between the server and the client necessary to make permanent changes or updates. Continuing advances in wireless communications have now made it possible to forward the commands via wireless signaling and achieve the same results. Along with simplifying the process, mobile device management today can also execute a wider range of orders than in times past.

Along with remote configuration and provisioning new applications, mobile device management can also be used to backup files and applications to a remote location, retrieve those copies in the event that data needs to be restored on the mobile device, and even manage remote software installation to update applications already on the device. Remote diagnostics is also possible within the perimeters of mobile device management, which means that many operational issues that used to require sending the mobile device off to a service center can now be diagnosed and repaired in a remote environment.


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