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How to Decide if Your Company Needs a UEM Solution?

  • April 17, 2019

Unified Endpoint Management is the buzz-word in enterprises that support and manage a full-fledged mobile work environment with corporate-owned and employee-owned devices controlled from a single console. The modern-day workforce is tech-savvy, connected, aware, and hence more demanding when it comes to ‘choosing’ the kind of devices they work with. Thus, enterprises have to look for UEM solutions that support the mobility trend, improve employee productivity and efficiency, and also help manage and secure various devices that their employees use for work.

What is Unified Endpoint Management (UEM)?

A typical Unified Endpoint Management (UEM) solution provides a centralized platform to administer, control, and manage heterogeneous devices like desktops, PCs, smartphones, wearables, printers, scanners, etc. UEM enables companies to remotely configure, manage, track, monitor, and maintain endpoints running on different platforms and operating systems in a seamless manner to meet security and compliance specific to the company policy.

Most UEM solutions offer bulk device enrollment (and deployment), Mobile Device Management, Mobile Application Management, and Mobile Content Management in the basic feature set, with profile and data containerization, remote access, reporting and analytics, and a lot of other customizable options.

Why is everyone talking about UEM?

IT department in a digital enterprise no longer ‘decides’ the platforms, devices, or OSes they will support. And some organization’s that are stringent around the ‘specific-device’ requirements, may find their employees turning to shadow IT, which may become a significant security threat in the long run. The millennial mobile user (and generations to come) wants to connect instantly, wants to get the job done on-the-go, and is comfortable using her own device as it has latest updates (features), which may take too long to arrive on a company-owned device.

Companies have begun to understand the needs of their employees and are looking for solutions which will help enhance employee productivity, reduce infrastructure costs, and also secure corporate assets from a plethora of devices that enter or connect to their ecosystem.

Does your company need a UEM solution?

Not many companies have jumped the UEM bandwagon. Some think they don’t need such a solution, and some are in the decision phase.

In an informal poll on Twitter, only 11 percent of organizations confirmed embracing a UEM solution. A UEM solution may not be for every enterprise, but how do you decide if you need a UEM solution?

Answer these 6 questions.

  • Are you a medium to large scale organization with your employees (or offices) spread across locations?
  • Do your employees work while traveling or use open (unprotected) networks?
  • Do your employees use their personal devices to access official emails, documents, source-codes, business presentation, etc.?
  • Do these employees (or company) owned devices run on different systems with various software (or OS) versions, apps?
  • Are IoT devices making inroads into your organization?
  • Does the cost (monetary, business or reputation loss) of data theft or loss exceed the initial upfront cost of investing in a UEM solution?
  • Is your IT team well equipped to administer, deploy, manage, and secure all endpoints (read company or employee-owned devices including smartphones, PCS, laptops, wearables, scanners, projectors, printers, etc.) according to company policy?

If most of your answers are yes, then you need a UEM solution for your company.

Benefits of UEM for your organization

The significant UEM benefits include improving employee efficiency and productivity, support user choice of device(s) while providing a secure, scalable mobility ecosystem for an organization.

Most UEM solutions serve the following purposes:

  • Securing enterprise assets like email, apps, content on devices used by employees without intruding (monitoring, accessing, or tracking) their private space. UEM provides an app or profile containerization which can access (encrypt, remotely wipe) only the work-related content or apps on a device.
  • Manage endpoint complexity for devices with different configurations, service, and security protocols.
  • Bulk enrollment and deployment feature helps IT to administer multiple devices in a scalable manner and eliminating redundant processes.
  • Most UEM solutions support multiple OSs like Android, iOS, Windows, etc. to cater to user preferences.
  • Implement security measures without hampering the user experience.
  • Location tracking to track the device location, create a geo-fence around a device, and set alerts in case a device breaches the geo-fenced zone.
  • Reporting and Analytics report on device activities like data and battery usage, location reports, alerts and notifications.

Challenges for UEM implementation

Although the benefits of unified endpoint management are numerous, many organizations find it challenging to integrate UEM into their systems. For instance, larger organizations have legacy systems that run older operating systems that UEMs might not support.

Upfront cost and resources are another factors which deters organizations to invest in UEM. But potential long-term saving, employee and IT productivity can be significant as compared to the cost of unified endpoint management.

Also, a majority of employees need to be technically aware and the IT department should be trained to handle the UEM solution.

Also, complex networks infrastructure and the number and kind of devices to be supported adds to the complexity.

An organization needs to define clear robust security policy before bringing in a UEM solution to ensure its efficacy.

A right Unified Endpoint Management system can empower a digital enterprise to fuel a productive, flexible, and secure workplace.

About the Author

Vandita is a passionate writer and IT enthusiast. By profession, she is a Computer Lecturer at the University of Delhi and has previously worked as a Software Engineer with Aricent Technologies.

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