Utelize 3-minute briefings: What is mobile device lifecycle management?

Mobile device lifecycle management (MDLM or DLM) is a term that is used to cover the end-to-end processes involved in providing and supporting mobile devices for corporate users. Typically, this lifecycle can cover:


Buying the right device, at the right cost, from the right vendor. This can now also include financing the device, and leasing.


Preparing the device before it is dispatched to the user. It can include basic elements, like charging the device, checking it powers on correctly and works ok, inserting the SIM, and adding screen protectors – through to more complex areas, like enrolling the device in the corporate security programmes, adding corporate apps, updating firmware, and entering all device details into an asset inventory.


Also known as MDM (mobile device management) or EMM (enterprise mobility management) software, the security element of MDLM involves establishing, and managing, the policies needed to control access to the device, its settings, and the data contained on the device. At a very basic level, the key elements are: ensuring that data can be remotely wiped in the event of loss; managing policy on how data is protected and managed; and, often, segregating personal from business applications. MTP (Mobile Threat Prevention) is a rapidly growing element of device and data security, and covers protecting the device and its contents from more advanced malware and viruses that seek to manipulate the device and applications.


Smartphones are subject to greater levels of wear and tear – most commonly broken screens, water damage and battery issues. Repairs covers the often costly process of recovering devices, swapping out the device for a replacement, establishing whether the repair is in or out of warranty, through to either recycling the repaired device back into stock, or passing it for resale.


When it’s time to replace the device, organisations are starting to consider the importance of recycling. The primary consideration is mobile data protection. Ensuring that the device is professionally wiped clean of all data and content before being disposed of is the critical final element of smartphone security, as you’ll no longer have your MDM or EMM software protecting the device. However, there’s a commercial argument also – smartphones can be expensive, but when looked after the residual values can add up to a significant value across a mobile fleet – typically around 15-20% of the original value. As a guideline, a mobile phone depreciates by about 4% per month. Finally, and importantly, from an environmental point of view it makes sense to ensure the device and its lithium battery are ethically and professionally disposed of.

Put all these elements together and you have the ‘lifecycle for mobile device management. Closely aligned to device management is the airtime management, and cost & usage management of devices – and these are covered in other 3-minute briefings. If you have any questions about MDLM, or if you have a topic that you’d like covered in our 3-minute briefings, then email us at hello@utelize.co.uk, and we’ll be happy to help.

Team Utelize

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