With the phenomenal rise of mobile devices in the workplace, mobility solutions have now become vital for the management, accessibility, and security of these devices.
MDM refers to the administration of mobile devices, and spawned similar strategies like Mobile Application Management, Mobile Content Management, Identity and Access Management, etc. Gartner in 2014 formally adopted the term Enterprise Mobility Management, which encapsulated all these terms.
Some people in the mobility space still use EMM and MDM interchangeably, even though both programs have evolved differently, and they largely differ in the security controls they offer.
So, let’s understand what your organization requires more – MDM or an EMM?
Mobile Device Management (MDM)
EMM Vs MDM implies that a customer should have complete clarity between the two sets of solutions before making a business decision. A mobile device management solution is administrating and controlling mobile devices in a corporate setup. It is critical to counterbalance the security concerns introduced by a variety of mobile devices at work. These devices (company-owned or employee-owned) offer more productivity and agility to the employees who can work from any location and at any time.
Aspects of MDM
Device Enrollment: A mobile device will need to be registered with the organization’s MDM solution, before using it for business purpose.
Device Provisioning: Once enrolled, the device would be configured with MDM software to thwart a variety of security issues, as well as to be managed by the organization’s IT admin.
Device Security: Security managers can distribute security configurations, data settings, resolve patches, and remotely troubleshoot any issues, security or otherwise on the devices.
Device Monitoring and Reporting: It helps in location tracking to locate lost or stolen devices, monitor device for malware infiltration, and report issues in real-time.
Remote data wiping: In case of device loss, the MDM solution can remotely wipe the data on the device.
Enforce security policy: It can help configure devices to enforce the security policy of the organization, like strong passwords, blocking certain websites or installation of apps etc.
Data loss prevention: Automatic data backup to prevent accidental data loss. Protecting data to be saved on a USB port or a third-party email server.
MDM lays the foundation of enterprise mobility for organizations, which have remote work cultures and BYOD policy. MDM provides a centralized platform compatible with different device types and with different operating systems (MDM for Android, MDM for iOS, MDM for Windows, etc.)
Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM)
Mobile devices have evolved from communication tools to powerful computational devices and are increasingly being used for complex business applications to mobilize and streamline corporate and IT processes. Moreover in EMM Vs MDM, the employees increasingly use their personal devices for work, they expect more capabilities, apart from just being able to use their device on a company network.
Ability to access not just emails or data, but also work-related applications, and proprietary information on personal devices.
Ensuring the privacy of their personal data and personal device usage.
Ability to migrate to a different device.
Enterprise requirements for corporate data and application security have also expanded. Instead of solely fortifying the devices, they now need to manage and protect the information and business apps on mobile devices.
Granular and extensive controls over corporate data, apps, emails, and platforms.
Enterprise-grade security to every device.
Customized management based on permitted access level for each employee, device, or network.
Scalable solution to support an array of devices and services.
Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) is a more evolved, sophisticated, and scalable set of features to manage enterprise devices, apps, content, and information. EMM encapsulates MDM, MAM, MCM, App Wrapping, Containerization, Identity Management features in a comprehensive, centralized solution.
EMM includes the following features apart from MDM:
Mobile Application Management
MAM provides in-depth management and security of apps by monitoring and evaluating app health, restricting malicious apps, configuring, deploying and removing apps according to company policy.
App Wrapping and Containerization
Though a part of MAM, app wrapping and containerization segregates corporate and personal apps and data on mobile devices. This helps employees switch personas on the devices without ceding control to their private information. It also makes it easier for the organization’s IT to focus only on corporate resources for operations like monitoring, securing, or wiping, etc.
Mobile Content Management
MCM allows for a secure environment to collaborate, store, and access collaborative corporate documents, information, and data.
Identity and Access Management
Identity and access management helps enforce the enterprise security policy by employing controls and determining access levels based on employee designation, safe or unsafe outside networks, allowed devices, and whitelisted apps or sites.
Let’s take a look at the following comparison chart to understand the difference between MDM and EMM:
Mobile Device Management (MDM)
Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM)
MDM enables control and security of the end user’s mobile devices within an organization.
EMM is a combination of tools and processes to secure and manage company-owned or employee-owned (BYOD) devices irrespective of their locations.
MDM solutions enable IT admins to customize and pre-configure settings related to the hardware, operating system, platform, etc.
EMM solutions enable IT admins to configure settings to manage not only devices but also applications, information and content.
MDM focuses on the device and the features of the device.
EMM focuses on securing and managing the data and applications on the device.
Prime features involve device location tracking, remote device lock, remote data wipe, passcode policy configuration, etc.
Prime features involve browser security settings, application management, conditional email access, multi-factor authentication, etc.
EMM vs MDM
How can you choose the right deployment model for your business?
While it is true that the tools and technologies required by every business depend on the way it operates, it is important to identify the right solutions for your business. MDM is considered to be a subset of Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) and several people use both these terms interchangeably. However, after assessing the differences between the two solutions we know that the difference between the two is significant and with this, businesses can make an informed choice.
Is MDM alone enough for businesses today?
Businesses that deploy basic company-owned hardware amongst their workforce for limited purposes might feel content with the implementation of simple MDM solutions. However, if organizations desire to explore the BYOD work environment completely or partially allow their employees to use their personal devices for work, or connect to public networks from anywhere, an MDM solution may not suffice.
However, modern-day MDM solutions such as Scalefusion are designed with additional features that offer capabilities including Mobile Application Management (MAM), Mobile Content Management (MCM) and Mobile Information Management (MIM) too that help organizations gain better control of their device fleets and manage the corporate data they contain with more efficiency.
EMM: Most favored choice for a BYOD environment
With Enterprise Mobility gaining pace, simply securing and monitoring hardware is not enough. As organizations allow their employees to move beyond office perimeters, work from their personal devices and connect to public networks to stay connected with the rest of their team and get the work done, they need to devise measures that are less invasive to protect their corporate data on employee-owned devices.
Enterprise Mobility Management has gained the upper hand in a mobile corporate world as it enables organizations to manage a combination of hardware devices, software tools, applications, corporate data, web resources and much more, remotely from a single console.
Closing Thoughts on EMM Vs MDM
Enterprise Mobility Management covers a broader set of functionalities for larger enterprises that need a comprehensive set of features to cover their mobility needs – remote work, employee devices accessing corporate data, connecting from external networks into your organization, remote servers, and cloud-based applications.
You will need MDM when you only need to manage and secure mobile devices and wireless solutions which connect to the corporate network.
So, you need to identify, analyze, and evaluate your organization’s security goals before investing in MDM or EMM solution. Whether organizations wish to opt for MDM or EMM capabilities, contemporary solutions like Scalefusion offer the potential to accommodate both kinds of enterprise requirements with their diverse range of device and data management features.