Mobile Device Management (MDM) is a process and technology that provides the mobile workforce with productivity tools and applications as well as security.
MDM provisions mobile devices while protecting assets and data. It manages device inventory and provisioning, taking a device-centric approach unlike mobile security and unified endpoint management (UEM), which prefer a user-centric stance.
Here are some of the top MDM trends:
1. Bring your own device (BYOD)
Traditionally, employees were given a dedicated work laptop, tablet, or smartphone, then given role-based access to company data and email, secure VPN, and other features like tracking GPS, password-protected apps and other security software. .
But the forced shift to working from home (WFH) two years ago changed things. Today, bring your own device (BYOD) is prevalent in many businesses. Due to lack of time, budget, or device availability due to chip shortages and supply chain bottlenecks, IT policies have often had to be relaxed when it comes to BYOD. Personal devices are remotely enrolled into the MDM system, allowing IT to monitor behavior, enforce security policies, and facilitate productivity.
2. The MDM sunset?
The cybersecurity threat picture and the growth of WFM environments have led to such device complexity that MDM functionality is complemented on many fronts.
Enterprise mobility management (EMM) platforms and unified endpoint management (UEM), in particular, are often operated in tandem with MDM. This, in turn, resulted in a convergence in space and the coming together of these functions under one roof.
“I expect traditional MDM products to be phased out and replaced with some sort of unified endpoint management tool,” said Denis O’Shea, Founder of Mobile Mentor.
He thinks some MDM vendors will be able to maintain a defensible niche over the next few years. SOTIfor example, dominates in a few industries. VMware Air Watchalso has a vertically embedded stack, and IBM MaaS360 has a strong distribution by carriers. This should ensure that they all do well in their respective fields. But O’Shea expects in the long term that MDM will be absorbed into UEM, which, in turn, will be part of a larger management suite.
It is already happening. IBM is now touting MaaS360 as an UEM, as is VMware with AirWatch. And VMware Workspace ONE is billed as an intelligence-driven digital workspace platform that enables IT to simply and securely deliver and manage any application on any device, anywhere. anywhere.
3. Advanced MDM
So how exactly will MDM evolve as it transitions to UEM?
According to IBM, a big trend is the emergence of more sophisticated MDM solutions where data and systems can be subjected to machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) analysis. These tools significantly improve security by protecting devices against malware and other cyber threats. They can spot abnormal behavior, detect strange activity in ports and potential exfiltration attempts.
Advanced MDM systems can assign or enroll devices with pre-programmed data profiles, VPN access, software, and access privileges. This allows them to track, monitor, troubleshoot, and decommission devices as needed. For example, some MDM tools can erase device data if it is stolen, lost, or breached.
4. Invasion of security providers
Another trend in the EMU transition is security. MDM has always had security features. But the rise of mobility and WFM has prompted some in the security space to invade space.
Syxsensfor example, moved from patch management and vulnerability scanning to adding an MDM module and moving into the UEM space.
“We go with UEM, but we have built-in security scanning and remediation capabilities that other UEM vendors don’t have,” said Dave Taylor, CMO at Syxsense.
He noted that Gartner and Forrester are starting to use acronyms like UEMS (unified endpoint management and security) to describe this converging market.
5. Augmented and virtual reality
One area where MDM could survive by carving out a specialized niche is augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). Augmented reality/virtual reality finds its way into much more than mainstream games and metaverse-like apps. For example, it is integrated into maintenance. Field reps and technicians can use headsets to simultaneously view physical equipment while specifications, work requests, and other information are displayed on the headset. Some systems can even show them exactly where a repair or weld needs to be done or simultaneously pass it on to a senior engineer who can walk them through a task or answer questions.
This part of the market is evolving and needs IT support. Specialized MDM tools could fill the void.
“AR/VR devices will become part of the endpoint ecosystem and will need to be provisioned, secured, managed and patched just like any other device,” O’Shea said.
“There will be corporate-owned and BYOD AR/VR devices used for work and personal applications, which will open up a whole new Pandora’s box.”