BYOD vs. MDM: What’s the Main Difference?

In today’s workplace, employees need access to your company network and data from any location, using a variety of devices. This presents new challenges and demands for your IT department. Managing all of the devices in use by your teams requires a unified approach, and structured policies and rules surrounding device management are a necessity.

MDM and BYOD are two approaches that organizations can take to employee device management. Both offer distinct strengths and weaknesses when it comes to your ability to control, secure, and monitor employees’ smartphones, laptops, and tablets. This guide explains everything you need to know about device management so you can choose the best solution for your business. 

What Does BYOD Mean?

BYOD means “Bring Your Own Device,” and refers to the practice of employees using their personal devices for work. In a BYOD scenario, employees are typically given access to the company’s network from their personal devices via a secure connection like a VPN. While this option offers employees the flexibility to work from a familiar laptop, it does also come with drawbacks. 

Even with a strictly enforced BYOD policy in place, employees can unintentionally leave your sensitive data exposed to attack when using non-company devices. Other pitfalls include a lack of consistency in performance between employees working with varying technology, and the need to block or blacklist certain websites or apps from employee’s personal devices – even outside working hours. 

What Does MDM Mean?

Mobile Device Management (MDM) is a type of software that is installed on company devices so they can be remotely managed by an IT team. MDM improves device security, allows for the automated rollout of upgrades and patches, and streamlines device provisioning.

Mobile Device Management software typically offers a centralized inventory of all devices being used in the organization, alongside insights into device health and performance. These tools can also help organizations identify lost, stolen, and compromised devices, so they can be backed up, locked, or wiped as needed. 

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