A Case Study in EMM-to-UEM Market Evolution Highlights the Coming of Security-centric Endpoint Management

E. Parizo
E. Parizo

Summary Bullets

• EMM vendors, responding to the convergence of traditional and mobile endpoint technology, are driving the emergence of unified endpoint management.

• With mobility becoming ubiquitous, enterprises want to deliver users a consistent, secure endpoint experience, regardless of what device they use, where they’re located and who owns the device itself.

As detailed in our recent market advisory report, Ubiquitous Mobility and the Coming Transition from EMM to UEM, the rapid evolution of enterprise mobility management products in response to the convergence of traditional and mobile endpoint technology is driving the emergence of a new market segment called unified endpoint management (UEM).

The drivers of this EMM-to-UEM market evolution are reflected by an EMM practitioner interviewed by Current Analysis. His firm, in the food and beverage industry, is replacing 7,000 legacy rugged notebooks with Windows 10 tablets for field sales staff.

A primary project driver is a transition away from managing costly, time-consuming predefined Windows 7 images. Using Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager, each notebook takes between 90 minutes and three hours to preconfigure before being deployed to a user. In contrast, the Windows 10 tablets, managed with VMware AirWatch, take ten minutes to preconfigure, and users then conduct enrollment themselves.

The organization is also gaining more control over its mobile devices while exploring ways to grant users increased flexibility in how they use the devices. As a hypothetical, because AirWatch for Windows 10 supports the defining of trusted apps, separating and encrypting work data from personal data, users could be given more leeway to install apps of their own to personalize their experience.

This requires a new paradigm for device security and configuration that represents a stark departure from granular SCCM-style management, but it promises an alluring combination of simplified configuration, increased flexibility and verifiable security controls.

Even though issues with Azure AD licensing and application download bandwidth remain ongoing challenges in this enterprise, once resolved the organization expects to use out-of-the-box tablets with no pre-configuration required. The savings in man-hours alone will be significant, to say the least.

As this company and many other organizations are discovering, traditional endpoint configuration management requires time and effort to maintain and implement baselines, yet it offers arguably minimal security benefits. EMM technology, however, is proving it can meet most organizations’ endpoint security and management objectives for less time and money, while supporting the device-agnostic BYOD future of enterprise end-user computing. Enterprises want to deliver users a consistent, secure endpoint experience, regardless of what devices they use, where they’re located and who owns them, and EMM vendors are responding to the challenge. While AirWatch is leading the EMM market in UEM functionality today, MobileIron is close behind, and other EMM vendors are following suit. This competition will foster further innovation from which customers will benefit.

Projects like this one are ushering in the era of UEM and ubiquitous mobility, and the EMM vendors enabling this transition today will be the ones earning UEM market share tomorrow.

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