In the last two years, mobility management has become more important than ever in the enterprise. As remote and hybrid work models are gaining ground in many organizations, “mobility management” has expanded its importance from managing mobile devices to managing all devices used by mobile workers wherever they work.
Unified Endpoint Management (UEM) has become a strategic technology at the heart of companies’ efforts to control this increasingly complex environment. Essentially combining enterprise mobility management (EMM) tools with personal computer management tools, UEM platforms help companies manage and secure a range of devices, including smartphones, tablets, laptops and desktops across multiple operating systems – all from a single operating system. interface.
“With remote and hybrid work here to stay, having a cloud-powered, unified strategy and set of endpoint tools is the key to staying ahead of security updates and risks,” said Dan Wilson, senior director and analyst at the research firm. Gartner. “We are also seeing a growing interest in UEM tools managing macOS and Linux endpoints as part of an ongoing effort to consolidate tools, teams and related skills.”
What the UEM market looks like
UEM’s market is dominated by about a dozen major suppliers. We don’t see many new players entering the battle, Wilson said. “However, [smaller] “Suppliers offering products and options for specific uses attract attention,” he said.
Such uses include front-line operating devices, sensors and smart devices used in logistics and transportation, pavilion devices, Internet of Things (IoT) endpoints, commercial drones and wearables, he said. “They are often not available from UEM’s core tools,” says Wilson.
[ How to choose the right UEM platform ]
The few new entrants to the UEM market are typically small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), says Andrew Hewitt, a senior analyst at Forrester Research. “We expect this market to be fundamentally transformed into a new market in the next two to three years,” Hewitt said. “What that looks like is hard to say at this point.”
Prices for UEM platforms remain more or less stable, Hewitt said. “I still routinely see somewhere between $ 1 and $ 10 per user per month,” he says. “There is a combination of consumer and device pricing, and consumer pricing is becoming more common. However, I do not see much change in prices. A new trend is the provision of specific prices for front-line workers, which some UEM suppliers already have today.
Although list prices for UEM platforms do not change, some providers are becoming more aggressive with discounts, Wilson said. “New items and packages are being created to attract smaller or budget-friendly customers,” he said.
[ Free download: UEM vendor comparison chart 2022 ]
Emerging trends for 2022
Forrester sees several major trends emerging for UEM this year, Hewitt said. 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 said.
This includes collecting telemetry from endpoints for the purpose of comparative analysis of the end-user experience, troubleshooting and collecting feedback from employees. “As businesses continue to strive to improve employees’ hybrid work experience, these experience management capabilities will become increasingly useful, especially when combined with existing tools at home,” says Hewitt.
Another trend Hewitt notes is the acceleration of “modern governance,” 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 said. “We are now making great strides in support of modern governance, and UEM’s suppliers are making this easier with the new migration tools.”
In addition to these developments, Hewitt expects to see a greater focus on remote control capabilities in the first place with UEM, “especially when it comes to visibility over home endpoints and improved Internet correction,” he said.
“I also expect to see a greater focus on improving deployment automation by providing a fully automated deployment service that includes areas not previously included, such as the BIOS. [basic input/output system] configuration, user customization and deployment of third-party applications, ”he says.
Wilson of Gartner points to many of the same trends. “We expect UEM’s leading tools to continue to try to consolidate workloads and expand functions to include experience management, automation, fixes, vulnerability and risk management, configuration management, secure remote access and remote control.” he says.
Security and endpoint management unite
Another major trend that Forrester is highlighting for 2022 is the ongoing convergence of endpoint management and endpoint security. Some UEM providers have acquired endpoint detection and response (EDR) providers in recent years, Hewitt notes. “In addition to integrating these tools, we see greater interest among vendors in offering combined management and security capabilities across a single platform,” he said.
This means more consolidation of tools for buyers, fewer agents – software tools that monitor threats and vulnerabilities – of endpoint devices, and a growing need to improve collaboration between IT operations and security teams, Hewitt said.
Phil Hochmutt, vice president of the corporate mobility program at IDC, also highlighted the unification trend. Personal computer management technology will increasingly look like mobile device management (MDM) as modern endpoint management adopts MDM protocols and software delivery architectures, he said.
“Automated unified endpoint adjustment – especially the adjustment of third-party applications – will be difficult to achieve,” says Hochmut. “Endpoint management teams will increasingly take on endpoint security roles as this line blurs. To address these trends, we advise businesses to keep open “traditional” end-user endpoint options with a view to modern governance. ”
IDC emphasizes the importance of single-glass functionality in many operating systems and device form factors, Hochmut said. “We see and encourage more integration of UEM technology in both end-user computing and security operations,” he said.
AI, ML and automation are on the rise
Mobility experts expect artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and automation to play increasingly important roles on UEM platforms.
“Analytics is becoming an increasingly popular feature introduced by UEM providers,” says Hochmut. “It’s the ability to collect data and telemetry from managed endpoints and put that data into usable reports and workflows driven by automation and AI.”
As the capabilities for AI and ML are relatively new, “it will take time to prove to IT administrators that 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, everyday tasks. We also expect to see ML play in better risk and vulnerability assessment to stimulate better prioritization and eventual automation of software updates and fixes. ”
Today, there is a huge need for endpoint self-healing, “and AI plays a big part in this, bringing the endpoint back to its original configuration,” Hewitt said. “We also see an AI game when it comes to proactively improving the experience or preventing problems that disrupt employees.”
This will require significant coordination and historical knowledge of consumer behavior, Hewitt says, “but it’s something that will improve businesses’ ability to anticipate and solve problems before they happen.”
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.