When discussing mobile management, breaking down the acronyms is essential. The big three are MDM (mobile device management), EMM (enterprise mobility management), and UEM (unified endpoint management):
- MDM solutions cover tablets and smartphones, predominantly driven by iOS and Android operating systems, and allow for full device management, security controls, and application management. MDM can be used with corporate-owned, single-use devices such as a self-service kiosk, single app mode device, or point of sale terminal. Or, in the modern office, MDM solutions can be a solution for deploying corporate-owned tablets or cell phones for employee use.
EMM expands MDM’s capabilities by allowing you to bring your own device (BYOD). EMM enables employees to enroll their own devices into corporate IT resources. EMM provides the organization with encrypted, policy-controlled, and unique containers on the employee’s device to provide specific apps, email, data, and content. This allows the organization to provide resources and respond if the device violates compliance policies. With EMM, there is also an option for device control from the manufacturer. If a company purchases a specific volume of devices, the manufacturer will allow the user to limit the reactivation of lost or stolen devices.
- UEM encompasses MDM and EMM while solving even more challenges associated with mobile devices, desktops, and Internet of Things (IoT) devices. UEM can manage devices cross-platform to lockdown hardware, software, data, and management in a single console.
Utilizing the right strategy allows organizations to deploy VPN profiles, certificates, and applications seamlessly. It also aids with enforcing device compliance and more. Organizations will benefit from having visibility and control of their devices regardless of where employees are located.
The Benefits of Company-Owned vs. Personal Devices for Remote Work
Businesses and organizations may need your guidance when establishing mobile device and remote work policies for their employees or team members. They may ask you whether they should allow personal devices to connect to their networks.
Larger businesses often have remote access enabling employees to work away from the office using laptops or tablets. VPN tunnels have impacted bandwidth for just about everyone. Company-owned mobile devices provide more benefits for the organization than personal devices because they contain predetermined management and security hardening.
The downside, however, is that when employees use company-owned devices remotely, it can open the door to security vulnerabilities. MDM solutions can include patch management from the hardware manufacturers or operating systems – a first step toward preventing a security breach. MDM can also offer a managed security policy, in addition to reports on device integrity,
Employees may find it optimal to use their personal devices for business instead of carrying a second phone. If the situation makes utilizing personal devices necessary, an EMM or UEM solution is best.
One drawback of this is the potential for the user to circumvent the security systems in place. Or they may send an email with data to a personal account. Organizations need to consider data management to address such concerns.
Advice for Selling MDM Solutions
Managed services providers (MSPs) and value-added resellers (VARs) must begin the sales process by understanding the client’s digital strategy and where their data is stored and accessed. Every client brings unique challenges and demands for mobile devices. Some industries, such as manufacturing or healthcare, rely on fleets of mobile devices to ensure their processes run smoothly and efficiently. A mobile device strategy must ensure these devices remain patched and managed with minimal downtime.
In industries with compliance demands, a robust mobile device strategy can assure your clients that data is controlled on any device with network access. It will also provide visibility into how it is stored when the user interacts with it – while limiting the risk of unauthorized access.
An Ivanti survey found that nearly 9 out of 10 (87%) respondents don’t want to work from the office full-time. Additionally, almost half (45 percent) would be happy never to step foot in an office again, while 42 percent indicated they prefer a hybrid model that splits time between home and office.
There will likely be ongoing high demand for UEM offerings. Vendors are now positioning themselves to become leaders in this emerging space that offers security, compliance, and management solutions in a single console.
In many cases, it will fall to you to advise your clients whether UEM, EMM, or MDM solutions are the best fit and which will result in the greatest productivity and ROI for their organizations.