How Personal Is Mobile Device Management?

A new study by the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism, in collaboration with The Economist Group, has encouraged me to rethink mobile device management (MDM). According to the study, men are more than likely to get news on tablets than women, and the same goes for smartphones. Each day we learn more and more about the users of mobile devices and their habits. So, instead of basing MDM strategy on mobile devices, what if we focused on the users?

This type of strategy would not be easy; in fact, it might be rather difficult. How would we categorize users? Should we base our assumptions on a user's personal traits? Even if we know that men used devices a certain way and women used them another way, is that information we could act on? Or would we run into an HR nightmare if we took into consideration a user's sexual orientation, gender or race? In order to effectively secure mobile devices, how much information would we need to learn about the users?

Or, on the other hand, should we categorize users by their usage habits? Do we look into a user's Internet history and rank them by vulnerability? Would we look into how often a user downloads applications and what sorts of applications are downloaded?

Mobile device management is growing, and our strategies to adjust to the trend will need to change. Maybe our focus should shift primarily away from the management of devices to the management of users of those devices. Maybe a mix of both. What do you think?

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