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    What is UEM? Unified endpoint management explained

    Unified endpoint administration (UEM) describes a set of applied sciences used to safe and handle a variety of worker gadgets and working methods — all from a single console.Seen as the subsequent era of mobility software program, UEM instruments incorporate a number of current enterprise mobility administration (EMM) applied sciences — together with cellular machine administration (MDM) and cellular utility administration (MAM) — with a few of the instruments used to safe desktop PCs and laptops.“UEM in theory ties this all together and gives you that proverbial one pane of glass, so you can see the state of all of your endpoints,” stated Phil Hochmuth, program vice chairman at IDC. “It gives you visibility into what people are doing with corporate data, corporate apps, on any conceivable type of device.”While UEM merchandise have been round for just a few years, demand accelerated up to now 18 months because of the COVID-19 pandemic. For many IT groups pressured to assist a distant workforce on brief discover, UEM instruments helped handle worker gadgets used to entry company information exterior of the firewall.“The pandemic was really a driving force in the move to UEM,” stated Dan Wilson, senior director and analyst at Gartner. “Organizations that were comfortable with their on-premises mobile and PC management tools were required to rearchitect completely as the vast majority of devices moved remote.” The evolution of cellular administration – MDM, MAM, and moreAt its core, UEM consists of a number of machine administration applied sciences that emerged to assist companies management worker cellular gadgets. The first iteration of such instruments was MDM, which arrived a couple of decade in the past.Introduced in response to the preliminary wave of smartphones used within the office, MDM was designed to assist IT centrally provision, configure, and handle cellular gadgets that had entry to company methods and information. Common MDM options included safety configuration and coverage enforcement, information encryption, distant machine wipe and lock, and placement monitoring.However, as worker bring-your-own-device (BYOD) schemes turned extra prevalent within the workplace — pushed first by the iPhone’s reputation, later by the expansion of Android — distributors started to supply extra focused administration of apps and information. MAM capabilities delivered extra granular controls, specializing in software program moderately than the machine itself; options embody app wrapping and containerization, and the power to dam copy/paste or limit which apps can open sure information.MAM options had been quickly packaged with MDM and different instruments, similar to cellular id administration and cellular data administration, and offered as complete enterprise mobility administration (EMM) product suites. Those suites led to the subsequent stage within the evolution of machine administration: UEM.So what precisely is UEM?UEM merges the varied sides of EMM suites with performance usually present in consumer administration instruments (CMT) used to handle desktop PCs and laptops on a company community. One instance is Microsoft’s Endpoint Manager, which mixed its Intune MDM/MAM platform with Configuration Manager (previously System Center Configuration Manager) two years in the past.UEM platforms are likely to have complete working system assist, together with cellular (Android, iOS) and desktop OSes (Windows 10, macOS, ChromeOS, and, in some circumstances, Linux). Some UEM merchandise assist extra esoteric classes too, together with smartwatches and IoT gadgets in addition to Android Things, Alexa for Business, and Raspberry Pi OS.Unlike conventional CMT merchandise, UEM tends to be obtainable as a software-as-a-service, cloud-based instrument, permitting administration and updates of gadgets similar to desktop PCs with out connection to a company community. The emergence of UEM has been partly pushed by the inclusion of API-based configuration and administration protocols inside Windows 10 and macOS, enabling the identical stage of machine administration that was already attainable with iOS and Android gadgets.It speaks to a wider improvement, too, of the convergence of cellular and conventional computing gadgets, with high-end tablets typically on par with laptops by way of processing energy. “You have a real blurring of the lines between what is mobile computing and what is traditional endpoint computing,” stated Hochmuth.Why put money into UEM instruments?All of those gadgets — cellular, desktop, Windows, Mac, within the workplace and distant — require a unified strategy to finish person machine administration, an strategy that may present quite a lot of advantages, say analysts.Among these is the chance for simplified and centralized administration. In brief, it’s extra environment friendly for one staff to provision and handle all gadgets from a single instrument, moderately than have separate assist groups and instruments that had been historically divided between cellular and Windows or macOS computer systems. “If you can address all of your devices from one console — and with one vendor and one contract — then obviously there are benefits from that perspective,” stated Wilson.UEM merchandise can scale back guide work for IT, with the power to create a single coverage — similar to requiring machine encryption — that may be deployed to many gadgets and working methods. The similar goes for patching.  “This can greatly simplify configuration and maintenance of your environment,” stated Wilson. By guaranteeing constant insurance policies throughout apps, gadgets and information, UEM instruments can scale back danger, with much less complexity and fewer alternatives to misconfigure insurance policies. “If you create a policy in one system and you don’t correctly map it to the equivalent policy in another tool, then you could leave yourself exposed,” stated Wilson.UEM instruments assist mitigate the probabilities of that type of misconfiguration.The UEM vendor marketThe worldwide marketplace for unified endpoint administration is forecast to develop from $3.4 billion in 2019 to $4.9 billion in 2024, in keeping with IDC information.There are quite a lot of distributors, from big-name corporations all the way in which to smaller, extra focused firms. Microsoft (Endpoint Manager) and VMware (Workspace One) are sometimes thought-about the UEM market leaders with the broadest choices. BlackBerry UEM, Citrix Endpoint Management, IBM MaaS360, and Ivanti UEM are additionally common merchandise.Among the distributors which have taken a extra specialised strategy is Jamf, which is concentrated purely on Apple gadgets working all the things from macOS to tvOS, and Soti, whose merchandise are tailor-made to sure industries, similar to warehouse staff with ruggedized cellular gadgets.Businesses making an attempt to decide on among the many numerous choices ought to think about what they plan to make use of a instrument for, what particular capabilities they require and which UEM instrument can deal with most of what is wanted, stated Wilson. “There is no perfect tool for all, so implement the UEM that will do the majority, and then look at supplementing to address critical gaps,” he stated.  Pandemic accelerates UEM adoptionWhile UEM adoption was already on the upswing pre-2020, uptake boomed as companies shifted to distant work throughout the pandemic, with IT departments required to assist a variety of — typically newly provisioned — gadgets accessing enterprise functions and information.“The pandemic, and the big work-from-home push, forced a lot of organizations to accelerate unified endpoint management deployments,” stated Hochmuth.This is seen within the development of Windows 10 fashionable administration. In 2019, round 5% of Windows 10 gadgets had been managed by a cloud-based administration system or UEM, in keeping with Gartner information. That determine was roughly 20% by September 2020.  “We believe that number is now closer to 30%, and it’s on target to hit 50% by the beginning of 2022,” stated Wilson. “This is a massive dramatic shift to UEM and cloud-based management because of the pandemic,” he stated. With distant work, all gadgets are “mobile” and UEM instruments are well-suited to assist any machine when not related to a company LAN. “A lot of traditional PC management tools require PCs to be on the network, and they have to be connected to the back-end platform to do the management, to push the policy, to do software updates,” defined Hochmuth.That stated, not all companies would require UEM instruments — some are cautious of worker push-back over administration instruments on their gadgets, for instance. But it’s possible the transition to UEM will proceed with the newest push to return to the workplace or create hybrid workplaces.“We see that close to three quarters of enterprise endpoints will be managed by UEM in the next three to five years,” stated Hochmuth.What’s on the horizon for UEM The newest pattern amongst UEM distributors has been to incorporate tighter integration with unified endpoint safety (UES) methods that present visibility into machine safety from a central admin console. UES helps organizations ship a coordinated response to detect and handle vulnerabilities and safety incidents.Alongside benefits similar to improved coordination and decreased friction between IT operations and safety groups, the mixture of UEM with UES may additionally improve employee expertise by lowering complexity, stated Wilson.Gartner additionally sees resurgent demand for automation by means of the usage of endpoint administration, digital desktop infrastructure or DaaS, analytics, and ML “to enable self-healing and self-tuning systems that deliver richer user experiences,” stated Wilson. This is an idea the analyst agency defines as “Intelligence-driven experience automation (IDEA).”“We expect that UEM tools will continue to expand or enable tighter integration with digital employee experience management (DEX) tools to enable IDEA,” stated Wilson.

    Copyright © 2021 IDG Communications, Inc.

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