When looking at mobility, it is no longer looking at Remote Wipe and Sandboxing; it’s about protecting your company’s Intellectual Property. There are around 160 Mobile Device Management (MDM) tools of various types available today which, by 2019, will converge in a much smaller number of mature Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) tools. Many vendors of today’s mobile management and security tools will vanish in the process of market consolidation, so consider current MDM purchases as a 24-month tactical decision.
The Digital Nomad
While half of office employees say they are expected to work no matter where they are, 53% indicate that they are willing to work those extra hours in exchange for working outside the office (a perfect example of “checks and balances”). Although both statements largely say the same thing, the underlying premise is that the modern business and the modern employee has gone digital, remote, and in many cases unsecure.
Thus enters Enterprise Mobility Management, or what Gartner refers to as “the ‘glue’ that connects mobile devices to their enterprise infrastructure.” But EMM is just the starting point, especially given the underlying misperception that EMM is synonymous with mobile security. If you are planning to opt into managing anything on a mobile platform, EMM is the logical choice to broker policies for other services and tools on the platform.
Focus Areas of Enterprise Mobility Management
Whereas EMM utilizes more robust application and content management suites, Mobile Device Management is more concerned with the remote management of a specific mobile device. MDM is a platform-dependent lifecycle management technology that provides inventory, OS configuration management, device provisioning and de-provisioning, remote wipe, and remote view/control for troubleshooting. Several EMM players are moving upstream with products to manage workstation-class PCs and Macs.
Mobile Application Management (MAM) applies management and policy control functionality to individual applications, which are then delivered via an app store and are managed locally on devices via the EMM console. MAM can also provide analytics capabilities to help administrators and application owners understand usage patterns.
Mobile Identity (MI) which ensure that only trusted devices and users access enterprise applications by helping to manage identity and access management (IAM) functions, such as user and device certificates, app code signing, authentication and single sign-on (SSO). EMM tools are increasingly using contextual information (such as location and time) to evaluate access decisions.
Mobile Content Management (MCM) which manage access rules for content distribution on mobile devices. The MCM function has three fundamental roles:
- Policy enforcement enforces policies down to individual files, including device-independent encryption keys, authentication, file-sharing rules and copy/paste restriction. Examples include conditional access to attachments in email, files synced with a back-end repository or files synced with a cloud repository.
- Content push enforces rules for push-based file distribution, replacement and deletion.
- Integration ensure mobile compatibility for third-party rights management systems, as well as enterprise data loss protection (DLP) and enterprise digital rights management (EDRM) infrastructures.
Containerization provides methods to encapsulate MDM, MAM, MI and/or MCM in quarantined environments designed to isolate business from personal usage, and to facilitate data and function isolation on shared multiuser devices. This capability is increasingly provided by mobile OS APIs. However, when built-in APIs are not available or are undesirable to use, containment within EMM tools is necessary to segment enterprise data. Containment can be a stand-alone, self-contained application, such as a personal information management (PIM) client. This capability can improve cross-platform compatibility by removing app dependence on specific APIs, and can add self-defending/hardening features that are particularly advantageous for apps running on unmanaged devices — that is, no MDM profile is installed. Containment technology can include:
- Preconfigured apps: EMM vendors provide proprietary mobile apps or integrate with particular third-party apps to provide enhanced levels of manageability and security for commonly requested functions, such as email calendaring and contact management, browsing, and file sharing.
- Application extensions: These apply policies to applications through the use of a software development kit (SDK) or by wrapping individual apps with a security and management layer.
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Of course, there’s so much more to talk about when it comes to strategically assessing the ideal tools best suited for your unique environment. SoftwareONE is a vendor-agnostic solution provider, with expertise across all of the vendors shown in Gartner’s below EMM Magic Quadrant:
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