Intune is Microsoft’s answer to mobile-device management for your business. It’s popularity centres around how it provides Unified Endpoint Management of both corporate and BYO devices. It’s a cloud-based tool that gives employees access to corporate applications, data, and resources from the device of their — or your — choice.
Office 365 already comes with a built-in mobile device management (MDM) This probably has you thinking ‘why Intune,’ right? We’re here to go over the advantages of opting for a separate service for managing your devices. You’ll learn why so many small-to-large businesses are turning to Intune to cover the whole spectrum of their business needs, rather than the bare minimum provided by the built-in service. Without further ado, here are our favourite benefits of Intune for mobile device management in your business.
Intune Benefit 1: No Need for Device Enrolment
With Intune, your IT department doesn’t need to handle every single BYO device to ensure its security. Intune admins can enable automatic enrolment — this just requires Azure AD Premium. Admins can make it easier for users to enrol by enabling CNAME DNS resource records for the company domain. Lastly, admins can enable bulk enrolment (Azure AD Premium and Windows Configuration Designer are required). Implementing any of these enrolment measures frees up time for your IT team. It also makes for a streamlined, across-the-board solution to company security.
Intune enables you to create app-protection policies. This means you can protect your company data without having to fully manage and control employee devices. To do this, simply sign into Intune, click Device Compliance, then select Policies and Create Policy. After you’ve added the policy, select OK then Create to save your changes. Your new policy will now be shown in the list. Simple!
Intune Benefit 2: Compatible Across All Devices
Although Intune is a Microsoft product, you aren’t just restricted to Windows. Unlike MDM for Office 365, you can use Intune’s cloud-based management on all operating systems. This includes Mac OS X, Android, and iOS. This makes it well worth the small per-user subscription fee, especially if you have an office that uses Apple.
With Intune, your employees will easily be able to switch between their desktop and mobile device/s without company security being jeopardised. This is useful in any office environment — especially during meetings when the team leave their PCs at their desks. It’s also useful for employees who work on site, from home, or travel frequently.
Intune Benefit 3: Gives Employees Access to Business Apps
Have you created your own internal apps for business functionality? The good news is that Intune will work with you to give your employees access. Admins can deploy your internal line of business apps to all employees across any devices they may use for work purposes.
Not every employee may need access to every business app. You should determine the apps and capabilities your workforce needs and who needs them. An Intune admin can then manage these permissions and determine which apps a group can use, as well as the capabilities needed for each group and subgroup. After you add a new app, you simply assign a group of users who can access and use this app. You can learn about the different app types in Microsoft Intune here.
Intune Benefit 4: Centralised Control
Intune allows you to manage PCs from the Cloud with no infrastructure required. This takes all the work out of planning what hardware your business needs and maintaining it — it’s all done from the Cloud. Intune plays a leading role in the Microsoft Enterprise Mobility Suite (EMS). This is a set of cloud-based services that offer threat detection and identity management. This comes on top of the data protection and device management that Intune delivers on its own.
Alternatively, you can connect Intune to the configuration manager to manage all your devices from a single management console. This covers PCs, Macs, Linux and UNIX servers, and mobile devices. With enrolled devices, admins can perform several security functions like remotely resetting passcodes, locking or wiping devices, encrypting data, and preventing features like cameras or network roaming.
Intune Benefit 5: Security Management
Microsoft Intune lets administrators implement WiFi profiles with pre-shared keys and resolve certificate chains without deploying certificates individually. In addition, they can deny access to specific apps or URLs. For example, they can restrict access to Exchange Online with device enrolment and compliance policies.
Are you worried about employee’s personal apps gaining access to your company’s information and even passwords? You don’t need to let this concern you with Intune, as it works with Azure Active Directory to make sure only managed apps can access corporate e-mail or other Office 365 services. This app-based conditional access ensures your company data is restricted to apps your company has downloaded and enrolled with Intune. You can utilise Intune app-protection policies on both company devices and employee’s personal devices. This ensures all company info is as secure as possible.
Intune Benefit 6: Cloud Based
With Intune being based in the cloud, you’re a step removed from needing to maintain on-premise servers, so you can focus on your business instead. Microsoft provides a globally scalable cloud architecture that is always up to date. Intune broadens the functionality of Microsoft System Centre Configuration Manager to the Windows Azure cloud.
In 2018, Intune introduced single sign for its Intune-managed browser application on iOS and Android. This lets employees access all the web applications they need, while the company remains under Intune’s protection at all times. This is applicable whether they’re accessing the web from their device in or out of the office — it just must be connected to Azure Active Directory.
Intune Benefit 7: Better Control
With Intune, admins have a great deal of control across all users and devices. This means more security and update management. Admins can use Microsoft Intune management to control computers running any version of Windows. Admins can configure anti-malware, firewall policies, and update virus definitions. The best part is that Intune can also manage Office mobile apps, meaning admins can restrict actions such as copy and paste, even if a user is trying to paste something into a personal app that IT has no jurisdiction over.
Intune is also a fantastic choice if you have devices that are shared between employees, such as limited-use shared tablets (often used in retail businesses). With Intune, you can easily configure your device to be used in limited-use mode in order to bulk provision, secure, and centrally manage shared iOS and Android devices. Likewise, you’ll be given peace of mind that your company data is safe if an employee tries to sign in on a public device, such as a public computer at a trade show or in a library. Intune lets you limit email access to devices that are managed by your organisation, meaning no company email accounts can be accidentally left open in public areas.
Intune Benefit 8: Deploy Software and Updates
Save time and headaches in your IT department — Intune means there’s no need to deal with each individual device when it’s time for updates and software rollouts. Intune enables you to deploy software across all enrolled devices. You can also control updates so every user is running up-to-date apps and software. Licensing can be tracked, and you’re able to collect information about hardware configurations and software installations on managed computers.
You can configure Windows Update for Business using Intune. Both feature updates (major, semi-annual updates) and quality updates (monthly updates that reduce patching issues) can be set up through Intune. You can also set up a variety of other Windows updates that are beneficial to your business.
Intune Benefit 9: Meet Cyber Security Requirements
With extensive security controls and features that can be managed by approved administrators, Intune seamlessly enables you to meet your cyber security goals. Data protection, access restriction, encryption, and anti-malware are all manageable remotely from the admin console. Here, you have a system that performs safely and securely without any extra work from you.
These cyber-security measurements are applicable to staff’s company-owned and personal devices. Your company can make sure that all these devices are set up with Intune before any work applications, company email accounts, or company files can be accessed. If the compliance state of a user changes, you can use Azure AD to allow or block them in real-time. This protects both company and personal information, as only known healthy devices can enter the network.
If you’re having trouble working out your cyber-security requirements, start by checking out Understanding the Notifiable Data Breaches Scheme.
Intune Benefit 10: Enterprise Mobility + Security
Intune has the advantage of being a part of the Microsoft Enterprise Mobility and Security (EMS) suite. This offers a level of integration that cannot be achieved by standalone products. The EMS suite is another one of Microsoft’s service packages, centred around mobile-device management, apps, and identity-access management. It incorporates much more than just Intune. It helps to protect and secure your organisation, while providing that perfect balance between great user experience and high-level security.
Intune is included in Enterprise Mobility + Security E3 subscriptions and Enterprise Mobility + Security E5 subscriptions. This means you get access to the best security and data control possible. In a world where BYO devices are common in workplaces and mobility is key, having the added security of E5 is a major reason why companies turn to Intune for their security and information-protection solutions.
Intune is the cloud-based solution for your mobile-device-management needs. Overall, it provides a much more in-depth function than the built-in MDM service within Office 365. It can also come as a part of the entire Enterprise Mobility + Security package. The result? Seamless integration and comprehensive functionality.
With businesses relying on mobile devices more and more, as well as a more popular BYO device approach, you really need a tool that provides a fuller service without draining your time and resources. Remote configuration, device updating, and security control are all a breeze with Intune. Not only can employees enjoy a simplified user experience, Intune makes the most sensible choice for managing your mobile business needs.