The last two years have seen mobility management become more important than ever in the company. As remote and hybrid work models take hold in many organizations, “mobility management” has broadened its meaning from mobile device management to managing all devices used by mobile employees, regardless of or their workplace.
Unified Endpoint Management (UEM) has become a strategic technology in the center of business efforts master this increasingly complex environment. Essentially combining enterprise mobility management (EMM) tools with PC management tools, UEM platforms help businesses manage and protect a range of devices, including smartphones, tablets, laptops and desktops across multiple operating systems, all from a unified interface.
“With remote and hybrid working here to stay, having a unified, cloud-based endpoint strategy and toolset is critical to staying ahead of updates and security risks,” said Dan Wilson, senior director and analyst at research firm Gartner. “We are also seeing increased interest in UEM tools supporting macOS and Linux endpoints, as part of continued efforts to consolidate related tools, teams and skills.”
What the EMU market looks like
The EMU market is dominated by approximately a dozen major suppliers. He doesn’t see many new players entering the fray, Wilson says. “However, [smaller] vendors offering products and features for specific use cases are gaining more and more attention,” he says.
These use cases include frontline worker device management, sensors and smart devices used in logistics and transportation, kiosk devices, Internet of Things (IoT) terminals, commercial drones and portable devices, he says. “These aren’t often available from traditional UEM tools,” says Wilson.
The few new entrants to the UEM market tend to be companies focused on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), says Andrew Hewitt, senior analyst at Forrester Research. “We expect this market to fundamentally transform into a new market over the next two to three years,” Hewitt said. “What that looks like is hard to say at this point.”
EMU rig prices remain more or less stable, Hewitt says. “I still see between $1 and $10 per user per month,” he says. “There is a mix of per-user and per-device pricing, with per-user pricing becoming more common. However, I don’t see any major changes when it comes to pricing. A new trend is to offer specific pricing for frontline workers, which a few of the UEM vendors now offer today. »
While list prices for UEM platforms aren’t changing, some vendors are getting more aggressive with discounts, Wilson says. “New SKUs and bundles are created to appeal to smaller or budget-conscious customers,” he says.
Emerging Trends for 2022
Forrester sees a few major trends emerging for EMU this year, Hewitt says. One is the rise of user experience management in UEM tools. The use of end-user experience monitoring (EUEM) will become more common among organizations, he says.
This involves collecting telemetry data from endpoints for the purposes of end-user experience benchmarking, troubleshooting, and collecting employee feedback. “As companies continue to try to improve the employee experience for hybrid working, these experience management capabilities will become increasingly useful, especially when combined with existing internal tools” , says Hewitt.
Another trend noted by Hewitt is an acceleration of “modern management,” a strategy for managing endpoints in a unified way without compromising endpoint security. “The pandemic has forced many IT decision makers to modernize their endpoint management strategies to better serve remote workers,” he says. “We are now seeing significant moves to support modern management, and UEM vendors are increasingly making this task easier with new migration tools.
In addition to these developments, Hewitt expects UEM to focus more on remote management capabilities, “particularly as it relates to visibility on home endpoints and improved patching via the Internet.” , did he declare.
“I would also expect to see a greater focus on improving deployment automation, providing a fully automated deployment service that includes areas previously not included, such as BIOS [basic input/output system] configuration, user customization and deployment of third-party applications,” he says.
Gartner’s Wilson points to many of the same trends. “We anticipate that leading UEM tools will continue to try to consolidate workloads and extend functionality to include experience management, automation, patching, vulnerability and risk management, configuration, secure remote access and remote control,” he said.
Security and endpoint management come together
Another major trend Forrester is highlighting for 2022 is the continued convergence of endpoint management and security. Some UEM vendors have acquired endpoint detection and response (EDR) vendors in recent years, Hewitt notes. “In addition to integrating these tools, we’re seeing growing interest from vendors to offer combined management and security functionality within a single platform,” he says.
For buyers, this means more tool consolidation, fewer agents – software tools that monitor threats and vulnerabilities – on endpoints, and a growing need to improve collaboration between IT operations and security teams. , explains Hewitt.
Phil Hochmuth, program vice president, enterprise mobility at IDC, also points to the unification trend. PC management technology will increasingly resemble mobile device management (MDM) as modern endpoint management adopts MDM protocols and architectures for software delivery, he says.
“Automated, unified endpoint remediation, especially remediation of third-party apps, will be difficult to achieve,” Hochmuth says. “Endpoint management teams will increasingly take on endpoint security roles as this line fades. To address these trends, we advise enterprises to keep “traditional” endpoint options open for end-user device management, keeping an eye on modern management.”
IDC emphasizes the importance of “single screen” functionality across multiple operating systems and device form factors, Hochmuth says. “We are seeing and encouraging greater integration of UEM technology into end-user IT operations teams and security operations,” he said.
Booming AI, ML and automation
Mobility experts expect artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and automation to play an increasingly important role in UEM platforms.
“Analytics is becoming an increasingly popular feature introduced by UEM vendors,” says Hochmuth. “It’s about the ability to collect data and telemetry from managed endpoints and put that data into usable reports and workflows driven by automation and AI.”
Since AI and ML capabilities are relatively new, “it will take time to prove to IT administrators that the insights and recommendations [made by AI/ML] are complete, accurate and reliable,” says Wilson. “But the sky is the limit of what can be done to eliminate repetitive and mundane tasks. We also expect ML to play a role in better risk and vulnerability assessment to better prioritize and eventually automate software updates and patches.
There is a huge need for self-healing endpoints today, “and AI is playing an important role in that by getting the endpoint back in line with its original configuration,” says Hewitt. “We also see a play of artificial intelligence when it comes to proactively improving the experience or preventing issues that are confusing employees.”
This will require significant coordination and historical knowledge of user behavior, Hewitt says, “but it’s something that will improve companies’ ability to predict and resolve issues before they arise.”
This story was originally published in June 2015 and last updated in May 2022. Click on the following pages to see how mobility management has evolved over the years.