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An Introduction to Enterprise Mobility Management

Less than a decade ago, many organizations resisted the trend of mobile devices entering the workplace through the grassroots consumerization of IT. Although there were some entrenched solutions from mobile device vendors that dealt with key issues like mobile access to corporate email, most enterprise services remained sealed behind the oft-maligned VPN connection. In the time since, we’ve witnessed many failed IT initiatives resulting in shadow IT workarounds exposing organizations to security breaches and lost confidential data. Enterprises are now beginning to fully embrace the demand for anywhere, anytime access to enterprise services on any device.

In response to organizations feeling pressured to be more security-focused and compliant, Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) solutions are rapidly gaining adoption in the large enterprise. EMM is best defined as an organization’s governing strategy for lifecycle management of enterprise services and content across devices that are corporate-owned or BYO. Within modern enterprise mobility strategies, there are typically several well-defined areas of focus that are addressed by comprehensive EMM solutions.

Mobile Device Management (MDM)

MDM is lifecycle management aimed specifically at configuring, auditing, securing, and monitoring usage for devices that are either owned by the organization or enrolled by its employees and contractors. A comprehensive MDM solution typically provides functionality for software and hardware asset inventory management; provisioning of network and app profiles and configs; data backup and archiving; device location and lock/wipe services; and remote troubleshooting and support. Often considered the traditional approach to mobility management, MDM has matured into robust offerings from many of the vendors in this space.

Mobile Application Management (MAM)

Once thought of as an alternative to the traditional mobility management approach of MDM, MAM has become a vital part of the modern EMM toolkit. Mobile Application Management focuses on lifecycle management for apps and services that are delivered to mobile devices. Typical MAM solutions provide toolsets for securely delivering custom-developed and third-party applications via a corporate app store or portal service. These solutions often provide lifecycle management for SaaS and cloud-hosted applications.

Mobile Content Management (MCM)

Organizations leverage Mobile Content Management solutions to manage access to and delivery of data such as documents, photos, and video for mobile users and devices. Integration with a full-fledged Enterprise File Sync and Share (EFSS) service enables lifecycle management for enterprise data based on advanced policy management provided by the EFSS and MCM toolsets. These toolsets also allow policy enforcement for contextually controlling manipulation of enterprise data when accessed from mobile devices.

Identity Management (IM)

Identity Management solutions provide organizations with the ability to manage user access and authentication across the entire range of enterprise services. The leading IM solutions available today feature tools for user directory workflows and lifecycle management; access management and authentication; certificate management for users and devices; and single sign-on (SSO). Many IM solutions are beginning to leverage multiple sources of user behavior context including machine learning and artificial intelligence to provide dynamic and secure access to services and data even in the most hostile of use cases and conditions. AHEAD is watching this emerging space very closely.

The above solutions solve many of the challenges that enterprises are facing as mobile devices become commonplace as supplements to desktops and applications. End users are demanding new ways to access corporate resources from multiple devices which causes security and compliance concerns for IT. Whether personal devices are allowed to access corporate resources or organizations are providing a corporate-owned device, IT must secure, audit, and encrypt data and mobile resources. Having a solution that meets current needs with the ability to scale and enable future use cases is critical. 

As this trend accelerates across many enterprise verticals, AHEAD is working with customers to develop a Strategy and Roadmap for maximizing their investment in mobility and end-user computing technologies. We are also helping organizations Design and Plan to expand their existing investment in Mobility Management solutions to scale to new cases and leverage additional functionality to deliver a new mobile experience to end users. To learn more about how AHEAD is helping customers in this space, contact us to learn more today!

portrait. Photo by Andrew Collings.

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