Costs & Benefits of MDM Migration

Craig Richards
December 12, 2019

Whether you have a mobile device management (MDM) provider today and you’re thinking of migrating to another or you’re considering adopting MDM for the first time, it’s important to understand the costs and benefits of migrating to a new MDM platform before you take the plunge.

Here are the key considerations for any IT professional who’s in the market for an MDM solution.

The Costs of MDM Migration

If you’re already using an MDM solution but you’re not thrilled with it (we get it, it happens), you’ve probably considered migrating to another. Or maybe you’ve thought about adopting an MDM but haven’t really investigated your options. Whether you’re starting from scratch or looking to swap out your existing solution, you can expect migration costs to fall into three categories:

  1. Time and effort: If you already have an MDM solution, it’s likely you’ve been dreading the prospect of changing vendors. The operational pain points are one thing, but there’s a whole other beast of end-user impact. But the reality is that MDM vendors should facilitate the migration process. As you compare your options, ask about the services each vendor provides to support migration and onboarding.
  2. Risk of the unknown: Of course, switching to a new MDM solution doesn’t guarantee it will be better than the one you have now. Before making a decision, be sure to read user reviews of vendors you’re considering on software review sites like G2. No product will be 100 percent perfect, so as you read reviews, consider whether you’re okay dealing with the pain points reviewers highlight.
  3. Financial costs: The obvious MDM migration costs are those that come out of your budget. Will your new vendor’s monthly fees be higher? Will you have to pay onboarding costs? What about ongoing support costs? These are important to weigh, though most MDM providers are reasonably affordable, ranging from $3.25 to $9.00 per device per month. Keep in mind, too, that you might actually save money by switching MDM providers. MDM services have become more common in recent years; there’s a chance that, if you’re already paying for device management, your provider might now offer mobile device services. Be sure to ask!

In many cases, though, the costs of migrating to a new MDM solution (or adopting one for the first time) are far outweighed by the benefits.

The Benefits of MDM Migration

Mobile device management is a powerful thing, whether employees at your company have BYOD privileges or carry around company-issued phones and tablets. With the right MDM solution supporting you, you’ll be able to enjoy many benefits, including these:

  • Better end-user experience and worker efficiency: User experience with an MDM solution is just better. IT admins can track which devices are approaching a full disc or maxed-out CPU and delete unnecessary files before the user’s machine actually slows down. You can push patches before employees are ever bothered by a popup. This means less hassle for employees and fewer help desk calls for you to deal with, which makes for a much more efficient workplace.
  • End-user privacy: Apple products are built to prioritize user privacy. MDM for iOS helps accentuate that privacy, especially on BYOD devices. With the right solution, you can monitor only business-related apps so that users can go about their lives without worrying that their company is spying on them.
  • Protection for the enterprise: This is a primary reason many businesses adopt their first MDM. Any device that accesses your company IP can expose it to harm. With MDM, you can ensure that such devices are patched, secure, and wipeable in the event of loss or theft.
  • Simplicity: Apple makes it easy to auto-enroll devices without asking end users to do anything at all. If you choose the right vendor, your MDM onboarding process will be similarly painless. With the right vendor, it’s possible to onboard devices for an entire company in just a day and immediately have full functionality.
  • Control for lost devices: Individual users may or may not turn on “Find my iPhone,” meaning that, without an MDM, your IP protection is up to your employees’ behavior. With an MDM, though, you can both track devices’ physical locations and lock them should one go missing.
  • Zero infrastructure to deal with: If you choose an MDM that operates in the cloud, you don’t even have to worry about managing an extra server or other infrastructure, which makes your MDM migration that much simpler.

You probably noticed that our benefits list is much longer than our costs list. That’s because the reality is that MDM is a good idea for any organization whose employees use mobile devices to do work. For a minimal investment of time and money, you can enjoy serious increases in privacy, security, worker efficiency, and peace of mind.

Making the Case for MDM Migration

If you’re not the sole decider on the question of MDM migration, it’s possible you’ll encounter pushback when you suggest adding this solution (or changing your current provider). This is often the case at small and mid-sized firms, where company leaders may have the attitude that they’ve gone this long without MDM, so why change now.

If you’re facing such objections, we recommend emphasizing the benefits MDM can have on workplace efficiency, productivity, and data security. Even at the high end of what MDM solutions cost ($9.00 per month), it’s easy to see the value when the solution makes it possible for workers to spend more time actually working (and less time dealing with iOS updates and software patches) every day.