The market for Mobile Device Management (MDM) and Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) has evolved. These management strategies were designed chiefly for smartphones and tablets when the BYOD movement was in its preliminary stages. Just when organizations were becoming proficient at traditional endpoint management, a new disruptor arrived – the Internet of Things (IoT) – bringing a raft of new connected devices.
MDM and EMM are not equipped to manage the emerging Enterprise of Things (EoT), made up of all the IoT devices in today’s workplace. New use cases and the increasing fragmentation of endpoints present new security and logistical challenges that demand a different management approach.
Traditional Endpoints and EoT Endpoints
It’s no longer enough for organizations to focus exclusively on securing smartphones, tablets and laptops. There is massive growth in the number of connected devices: Gartner forecasts that more than 20 billion connected things will be in use worldwide by 2020, and millions of new things get connected every day.
A survey of 200 enterprise IT decision-makers from 10 countries in multiple industries by 451 Research found the most common endpoints under management are still laptops and PCs, smartphones/tablets and cameras/surveillance technology. Yet respondents also listed a growing and diverse number of IoT devices used to optimize operations and customer service.
Data breaches in EoT endpoints can result in major direct financial losses and indirect losses through reputational damage. Ensuring the safety and data security of EoT endpoints is a top challenge and priority for IT decisions-makers today, according to the 451 Research report.
Current Landscape of Endpoint Management
Several factors have combined to result in a patchwork approach to endpoint management at many organizations:
• The persistence of legacy investments in security and management systems that support only one class of endpoints
• A separation between management responsibility for enterprise mobility endpoints (with IT managers) and EoT endpoints (with operational technology or line-of-business managers), resulting in two silos
•Multiple user groups, ownership models (BYOD, BYOC, Corporate Owned Personally Enabled – COPE, Corporate Owned Business Only – COBO), deployment models (container, OS embedded, native), and operating systems and device types, resulting in several management platforms (sometimes from different vendors)
According to the 451 Research survey, 100% of respondents reported that their organizations have deployed at least one type of solution to secure endpoint data, with 90% reporting use of eight or more solutions. The most widely used solutions are anti-malware, VPN, Data Loss Prevention software, and EMM, MDM or other management tools. Taken together, the survey data reveals that most organizations have not deployed a single solution capable of addressing the multiple risks around endpoint data.
The Pitfalls Of Deploying Multiple Endpoint Management Strategies
A patchwork approach to endpoint management can produce deep complexity and multiple challenges for organizations. Using traditional PC management tools and remote access technology (such as VPN) can be more expensive and often requires more IT support. For mobile endpoints, using multiple EMM/MDM platforms can result in:
Higher IT costs
From multiple vendors and contracts, multiple infrastructures, and increased staff and training requirements
Increased security risks
Point solutions potentially create gaps and expand cyberattack surface Inconsistent policies, groups and users may increase risk Poor user experience
Complex provisioning process
Multiple admin consoles for IT to use Inconsistent user experiences on different platforms No universal sign-on Multiple help desks
Inefficient compliance processes
Multiple approaches for each regulation increases chance of errors Difficult to have unified view of compliance status
The Next Stage In Endpoint Management: Unified Endpoint Management
Given these many potential drawbacks, many organizations are recognizing the need to take the next step in endpoint management. The 451 Research survey found the concept of unifying all endpoint security and management within a single system holds strong appeal among decision-makers, with 78% saying they would be interested if there were solutions available.
Beyond the obvious benefits of lower costs and ease of use, any consolidated endpoint management strategy must preserve optimal productivity and security to add value to an organization. Business leaders want to support employee productivity with wider adoption of computing solutions, flexible deployment and a wide variety of user support models – all within budget constraints. For IT leaders, the priority is to ensure every device is secure, including new endpoints like smart glasses and future intelligent devices in the enterprise.