For endpoint management, the past was simple; IT typically managed a group of PCs that were designated for the workplace. Then, mobile devices entered the game.
Employees began to use their work devices for personal tasks and personal devices for work purposes, raising the issue of device ownership and making it difficult for IT to retain control. Will IT need to protect employee data if it's viewed on a smartphone? Do company-wide IT policies extend to BYOD devices? Enterprise mobility management (EMM) and mobile device management (MDM) helped to answer those questions -- but because mobile devices and traditional PCs are managed differently, a gap still remained.
Enter unified endpoint management, or UEM, which is available within EMM tools and other endpoint management offerings. UEM software attempts to offer IT pros organization, visibility and control over their end users and devices -- all through a centralized management console.
UEM software can simplify an organization's mobile strategy, but it could also add complexity depending on whether the company uses it correctly. It's important for IT pros to take a high-level approach first and evaluate the pros and cons before using UEM.
Let's take a look at what unified endpoint management is before diving into how to manage it correctly. Then, we'll take a step back to review how the unified endpoint management market has changed, and what's driving it forward.
1The benefits of UEM-
Review unified endpoint management's advantages
As the IT landscape becomes more complex and, subsequently, less secure, the benefits of unified endpoint management have become more obvious. UEM offers increased security against potential attacks, integration with desktops to simplify IT infrastructure and more. An organization should explore every pro -- and con -- before adopting this technology.
Mobile devices make it hard for admins to retain control over their users. Now, unified endpoint management enables admins to manage multiple devices in a centralized location and discover how users accomplish tasks. Continue Reading
While some unified endpoint management systems offer additional layers of complexity, VMware's AirWatch tries to keep things simple. AirWatch offers integration with traditional desktop software, as well as advanced security features. Continue Reading
As standards and threats around mobile IT evolve, unified endpoint management has become increasingly vital. UEM helps address compliance issues and provide the visibility necessary to combat security threats, such as breaches and risky shadow IT initiatives. Continue Reading
What to look for in unified endpoint management
It's true that unified endpoint management has a lot of benefits, but organizations shouldn't blindly jump on the bandwagon without evaluating some crucial factors first. Companies should find the best fit, and then take a long, hard look at their overall IT strategies to see how UEM fits into place.
Before organizations begin research to purchase a tool with unified endpoint management, they should determine how UEM will change their current technologies, such as data loss prevention. They should also evaluate whether UEM software will integrate smoothly with single sign-on, identity management tools, user email and other features. Continue Reading
Although it's complicated to manage endpoints, organizations that select the wrong UEM capability could add further complexity. Look for features that will simplify and solve IT problems, such as support for different platforms, usability and expense management. Continue Reading
UEM tools that integrate with machine learning can produce analytics to uncover business insights. Machine learning-driven UEM can automate security recommendations, detect threats and help IT pros discover best practices within their organizations. Continue Reading
Even with unified endpoint management in place, it's essential to stay cognizant of the latest mobile security risks. IT pros should ask themselves whether there are any security exposures and how the internet of things and big data will affect mobile security, among other key questions. Continue Reading
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The evolution of the market
Mobile trends are constantly shifting, but unified endpoint management has proven to be a vital part of an enterprise mobility strategy. UEM features address the concerns of most modern IT pros, such as security and device management.
Mobile devices used for work have complicated the role of an endpoint administrator, and will continue to do so. IT pros should adjust their mobile strategies, and use device management to bring back control and increase security. Continue Reading
4Terms to know-
Before an organization makes the decision to take advantage of unified endpoint management, it's important to be familiar with the terminology first.