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 following technology of mobility software program, UEM instruments incorporate a number of present enterprise mobility administration (EMM) applied sciences — together with cell gadget administration (MDM) and cell utility administration (MAM) — with among the instruments used to safe desktop PCs and laptops.
“UEM in idea ties this all collectively and offers you that proverbial one pane of glass, so you’ll be able to see the state of your entire endpoints,” stated Phil Hochmuth, program vp at IDC. “It provides you visibility into what persons are doing with company information, company apps, on any conceivable sort of gadget.”
Whereas UEM merchandise have been round for a number of years, demand accelerated up to now 18 months because of the COVID-19 pandemic. For a lot of IT groups compelled to help a distant workforce on quick discover, UEM instruments helped handle worker gadgets used to entry company information exterior of the firewall.
“The pandemic was actually a driving drive within the transfer to UEM,” stated Dan Wilson, senior director and analyst at Gartner. “Organizations that had been comfy with their on-premises cell and PC administration instruments had been required to rearchitect fully because the overwhelming majority of gadgets moved distant.”
The evolution of cell administration – MDM, MAM, and extra
At its core, UEM consists of a number of gadget administration applied sciences that emerged to assist companies management worker cell gadgets. The primary iteration of such instruments was MDM, which arrived a couple of decade in the past.
Launched in response to the preliminary wave of smartphones used within the office, MDM was designed to assist IT centrally provision, configure, and handle cell gadgets that had entry to company methods and information. Frequent MDM options included safety configuration and coverage enforcement, information encryption, distant gadget wipe and lock, and site monitoring.
Nonetheless, as worker bring-your-own-device (BYOD) schemes turned extra prevalent within the workplace — pushed first by the iPhone’s recognition, 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 relatively than the gadget itself; options embrace app wrapping and containerization, and the flexibility to dam copy/paste or prohibit which apps can open sure information.
MAM options had been quickly packaged with MDM and different instruments, reminiscent of cell id administration and cell info administration, and bought as complete enterprise mobility administration (EMM) product suites. These suites led to the following stage within the evolution of gadget administration: UEM.
So what precisely is UEM?
UEM merges the varied aspects of EMM suites with performance sometimes present in shopper administration instruments (CMT) used to handle desktop PCs and laptops on a company community. One instance is Microsoft’s Endpoint Supervisor, which mixed its Intune MDM/MAM platform with Configuration Supervisor (previously System Heart Configuration Supervisor) two years in the past.
UEM platforms are inclined to have complete working system help, together with cell (Android, iOS) and desktop OSes (Home windows 10, MacOS, ChromeOS, and, in some instances, Linux). Some UEM merchandise help extra esoteric classes too, together with smartwatches and IoT gadgets in addition to Android Issues, Alexa for Enterprise, and Raspberry Pi OS.
Not like conventional CMT merchandise, UEM tends to be out there as a software-as-a-service, cloud-based device, permitting administration and updates of gadgets reminiscent of 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 Home windows 10 and Mac OS, enabling the identical stage of gadget administration that was already doable with iOS and Android gadgets.
It speaks to a wider growth, too, of the convergence of cell and conventional computing gadgets, with high-end tablets typically on par with laptops when it comes to processing energy. “You could have an actual blurring of the traces between what’s cell computing and what’s conventional endpoint computing,” stated Hochmuth.
Why put money into UEM instruments?
All of those gadgets — cell, desktop, Home windows, Mac, within the workplace and distant — require a unified strategy to finish person gadget administration, an strategy that may present quite a lot of advantages, say analysts.
Amongst these is the chance for simplified and centralized administration. In brief, it’s extra environment friendly for one crew to provision and handle all gadgets from a single device, relatively than have separate help groups and instruments that had been historically divided between cell and Home windows or macOS computer systems.
“Should you can handle your entire gadgets from one console — and with one vendor and one contract — then clearly there are advantages from that perspective,” stated Wilson.
UEM merchandise can cut back handbook work for IT, with the flexibility to create a single coverage — reminiscent of requiring gadget encryption — that may be deployed to many gadgets and working methods. The identical goes for patching.
“This will enormously simplify configuration and upkeep of your atmosphere,” stated Wilson.
By guaranteeing constant insurance policies throughout apps, gadgets and information, UEM instruments can cut back danger, with much less complexity and fewer alternatives to misconfigure insurance policies. “Should you create a coverage in a single system and you do not appropriately map it to the equal coverage in one other device, then you would go away your self uncovered,” stated Wilson.
UEM instruments assist mitigate the possibilities of that sort of misconfiguration.
The UEM vendor market
The worldwide marketplace for unified endpoint administration is forecast to develop from $3.4 billion in 2019 to $4.9 billion in 2024, based on IDC information.
There are a selection of distributors, from big-name companies all the best way to smaller extra focused corporations. Microsoft (Endpoint Supervisor) and VMware (Workspace One) are sometimes thought of the UEM market leaders with the broadest choices. Blackberry UEM, Citrix Endpoint Administration, IBM MaaS360, and Ivanti UEM additionally standard merchandise.
Among the many distributors which have taken a extra specialised strategy is Jamf, which is centered purely on Apple gadgets operating every little thing from Mac OS to tvOS, and Soti, whose merchandise are tailor-made to sure industries, reminiscent of warehouse staff with ruggedized cell gadgets.
Companies making an attempt to decide on among the many numerous choices ought to take into account what they plan to make use of a device for, what particular features they require and which UEM device can deal with most of what is wanted, stated Wilson. “There is no such thing as a good device for all, so implement the UEM that can do the bulk, after which have a look at supplementing to handle essential gaps,” he stated.
Pandemic accelerates UEM adoption
Whereas UEM adoption was already on the upswing pre-2020, uptake boomed as companies shifted to distant work in the course of the pandemic, with IT departments required to help a variety of — typically newly provisioned — gadgets accessing enterprise functions and information.
“The pandemic, and the large work-from-home push, compelled quite a lot of organizations to speed up unified endpoint administration deployments,” stated Hochmuth.
That is seen within the development of Home windows 10 fashionable administration. In 2019, round 5% of Home windows 10 gadgets had been managed by a cloud-based administration system or UEM, based on Gartner information. That determine was roughly 20% by September 2020.
“We consider that quantity is now nearer to 30%, and it is on course to hit 50% by the start of 2022,” stated Wilson. “It is a large dramatic shift to UEM and cloud-based administration due to the pandemic,” he stated.
With distant work, all gadgets are “cell” and UEM instruments are well-suited to supportany gadget when not related to a company LAN. “Quite a lot of conventional PC administration instruments require PCs to be on the community, they usually need to be related to the back-end platform to do the administration, to push the coverage, to do software program 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. Nevertheless it’s seemingly the transition to UEM will proceed with the most recent push to return to the workplace or create hybrid workplaces.
“We see that shut to a few quarters of enterprise endpoints might be managed by UEM within the subsequent three to 5 years,” stated Hochmuth.
What’s on the horizon for UEM
The most recent development amongst UEM distributors has been to incorporate tighter integration with unified endpoint safety (UES) methods that present visibility into gadget safety from a central admin console. UES helps organizations ship a coordinated response to detect and handle vulnerabilities and safety incidents.
Alongside benefits reminiscent of improved coordination and decreased friction between IT operations and safety groups, the mixture of UEM with UES might additionally improve employee expertise by lowering complexity, stated Wilson.
Gartner additionally sees resurgent demand for automation by way of the usage of endpoint administration, digital desktop infrastructure or DaaS, analytics, and ML “to allow self-healing and self-tuning methods that ship richer person experiences,” stated Wilson. It is a idea the analyst agency defines as “Intelligence-driven expertise automation (IDEA).”
“We anticipate that UEM instruments will proceed to increase or allow tighter integration with digital worker expertise administration (DEX) instruments to allow IDEA,” stated Wilson.