Mark 2020 as the year remote work and flexible working hours became a permanent fixture of business. Just the facts: 35.2% of the US workforce alone worked remotely as of May 2020, a full 71.7% of those who can do their jobs away from a desk, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.

Yet: With change comes headaches. And for small businesses where Google is their IT department, managing devices has been a particular one. Fortunately, mobile device management (MDM) software, like Jamf Now, can help. Here are five questions to ask yourself.

How Easy Is It To Use?

There's no shortage of jokes about IT software complications, yet the most basic question rarely comes up: How easy is it to use this stuff, day to day? Especially in a world where we're working remotely to protect our health, the last thing you need to be doing is shipping a flash drive to someone's house or driving over to check their laptop. Jamf Now has its software in the cloud, so a simple installation and update.

Do You Issue Devices, Or Does Your Team Bring Their Own?

Bring-your-own-device (BYOD) can be a useful policy for keeping IT budgets low, and getting employees started quickly. And in some cases, issuing everyone their own company iPhone may not make sense for your business, or didn't before everyone went remote. Break down what your needs are, what apps everyone needs to use in the field, what data needs to be secured, and so on, and then see if a rainbow of different laptops, smartphones, and tablets still makes sense or if you need to be more consistent.

What Setups Are Required?

Regardless of your device policy, there are some things that need to be consistent. Nobody should be hunting for the Wi-Fi password or spend an hour configuring their email whenever they boot up in the office or be without a crucial app at the wrong moment. The right MDM software can centralize those situations, so it's simply a matter of logging in, downloading, and getting to work. And this is doubly important when your workforce is remote. With the tools stored in the cloud, your team can replace their stuff when it breaks or gets up to date without skipping a beat.

What Kind Of Update Management Do You Need?

MDM software can be used to centralize everything from pushing updates live across your entire organization to securing passcodes and even wiping the data off lost devices. Of course, if your business is, say, delivering flowers, you probably don't need quite that level of IT integration. Ask yourself what your crucial needs are and where you'll expand in the future.

What Are Your Security Needs?

Even if there are no trade secrets stored on anybody's iPhone, if a device is lost or stolen, there can be profound implications for your business and customers. One dramatic example unfolded in 2002 when an unsecured laptop and hard drive were stolen from a Veteran's Administration employee, potentially exposing the data of 26 million people. Being able to remotely secure, change the passwords on, and wipe or lock devices can be crucial for your business, so a careful assessment of your security needs are in order.

If you're looking for a solution to your IT needs, Jamf Now is running a special on their software, with a free account that includes three devices, plus only $2 per device after. Nobody needs to be the IT department on top of everything else, so look into MDM, and get back to the work that matters.

Futurism fans: To create this content, a non-editorial team worked with an affiliate partner. We may collect a small commission on items purchased through this page. This post does not necessarily reflect the views or the endorsement of the editorial staff.

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