To UEM, Or Not To UEM, That Is The Question

Some Enterprises Are Transitioning To Unified Endpoint Management, And Others Are Not



Steven Lerner
09/04/2018

As the IT director for contract research organization IQVIA, Divyang Bhatt is tasked with mobile application development and innovative device solutions. One of the fastest rising innovative solutions for enterprises today is Unified Endpoint Management (UEM), which is an efficient way to secure and control all devices and endpoints. Although IQVIA tested UEM a few years ago, it decided not to implement the technology and to instead focus on different initiatives.

“That has not been a top priority for us,” Bhatt said. “It will certainly [be] reviewed in the future.”

IQVIA is not alone in their decision to omit a UEM solution. In a 2018 Twitter poll facilitated by Enterprise Mobility Exchange, only 11% of enterprises confirmed that they have embraced UEM. In addition, half of all respondents said that they will never jump on the UEM bandwagon. Although this is not a scientific poll, it does shed light on the fact that some enterprises are giving UEM the cold shoulder.

See Related: The Top 3 Reasons For UEM

Benefits Of UEM

Enterprises that have embraced UEM solutions are reaping the benefits. UEM provides cross-platform visibility into an organization’s endpoints, reduces mobile-related service requests, and improves employee satisfaction.

“UEM solutions can drastically simplify the process of device and application provisioning/de-provisioning process,” Eric Klein, VDC Research’s director of enterprise mobility and connected devices, said. “UEM makes the most sense for organizations in any industry that have sizeable Windows 10 and business-critical mobile deployments.”

The benefits of this solution were enough to persuade M&T Bank to begin the move from traditional management practices to UEM.

“We feel that UEM will be the best practice for organizations with diverse endpoints in their environment,” said Jason Lendvay, assistant vice president of M&T Bank. “We are working towards our move to UEM in conjunction with our Windows 7 to Windows 10 migration. We see the Windows 10 OS and modern management capabilities are a key enabler for our move to UEM, which is a primary reason why we are looking to move towards UEM at this time.”

Lendvay said UEM will allow them to create a unified digital workspace portal across multiple device types for their employees. M&T Bank projects that UEM will also provide multi-channel delivery to various endpoints within the UEM structure. This will eliminate the redundancy of processes, and allow for quicker speed to market with new applications.

Perhaps the biggest benefit of a UEM solution is the potential long-term cost savings to the enterprise. Klein said that this cost-savings can be significant for larger deployments that support thousands of devices on multiple platforms, such as Windows 10, Macs, Chromebooks, iOS, and Android devices. Lendvay says the migration to UEM will also reduce some costs.

Why Many Enterprises Are Not Drinking The UEM ‘Kool-Aid’ yet

Despite the numerous benefits of UEM, many enterprises are not looking to integrate this technology immediately. A majority of enterprises administer mobility and access management functions separately from their PCs, laptops, and servers. Larger organizations in particular are more reluctant to let go of their legacy equipment, especially those that run an older operating systems such as Windows 7.

“We expect Windows 10 migrations to accelerate as we approach Microsoft’s Windows 7 End of Life (EOL) in 2020, when the company will discontinue releasing security updates and technical support for this widely deployed OS,” Klein said.

As the number of Internet of Things (IoT) devices is projected to eclipse the number of mobile devices in the enterprise by 2018 for the first time, many enterprises might reconsider UEM. Windows 10 migrations will also drive UEM deployments, which is why VDC Research is projecting that the UEM market will grow at a 16.6% CAGR through 2022.

“Windows 10 will without question be the catalyst,” Klein said. “These trends will lead make investing in a UEM solution increasingly important — particularly as deployments expand, and organizations realize that the range of back-end services from multiple mobile apps/platforms (to which they require secure access and authentication) is expanding.”

See Related: Let's Be Honest: You Need UEM Now

What Enterprises Should Know Before Switching To UEM

Once an organization has determined that it will embrace a UEM solution, there needs to be some serious planning about the implementation. One of the drawbacks of switching to UEM is the upfront expenses and resources that will have to be devoted to the integration. The exact cost and potential long-term savings vary based on the complexity, size, and diversity of the organization. Klein also stressed that UEM is not for every enterprise, because no two organizations are alike.

Migration to UEM could also be part of an enterprise’s digital transformation. Lendvay projects that by switching to UEM, M&T Bank will be in position to harness more IoT devices and to create further shifts to endpoint agnostic solutions.