A new approach to UEM for a post-COVID workplace

Author: Martin McGregor, Co-founder and CEO, Devicie

We were excited (but not surprised) to see Microsoft shoot to the far top right corner in Gartner’s latest Unified Endpoint Management (UEM) Magic Quadrant. Afterall, Microsoft Endpoint Manager has tremendous potential for security and productivity in a hybrid working environment, where employees work from their devices in the office or remotely.

It’s great to see UEM gaining traction in the marketplace, but it’s important to clarify and understand the technology streams now included under the UEM banner.

Formal definitions aside, in the context of end-user device management, UEM is essentially the convergence of two technology streams that were previously considered separate – mobile device management (MDM) and end user compute (EUC). UEM offers a single management interface and reporting view across both of these disciplines, consolidating endpoint device management in a way that hasn’t been done before.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, UEM was in many ways the lifeline organisations needed to enable a mobile workforce supporting BYOD effectively overnight. For IT managers, it simplified the ability to centrally manage multiple device types at scale. And, with many organisations now embracing remote work as a new norm, the popularity of UEM is unlikely to wane anytime soon. In fact, Gartner predicts more than half of organisations will (and arguably must) consolidate to a unified console for endpoint management and security tasks by 2024. This represents a significant increase from fewer than 5 per cent in 2020.

We are often asked where Devicie sits in the UEM landscape. The answer is that Devicie both complements and enables UEM; think of Devicie as the co-pilot on the flight deck of your UEM aircraft. I’m going to use this blog to articulate how we do this, highlighting our relationship with Microsoft Endpoint Manager (Microsoft Intune).

Not quite ‘UEM to the rescue’

There’s no doubt UEM has been a very positive step in the development of enterprise mobility, offering better management of a wider range of devices.

However, I think it is fair to say all of today’s UEM solutions are a combination of products sitting on a shelf: a mishmash of technologies – some with enormous potential – but with little cohesion.

As analysts and customers repeatedly point out, every UEM solution – even those in the Magic Quadrant –  has significant delivery challenges, including the need for specialised skills together with management and infrastructure overheads. They also often have sizable security gaps, including risks associated with application patching and management. This is coupled with challenges in the deployment of defence in depth security across all devices.

That being said, there has been big progress in the advancement of cloud technologies, agentless solutions, and automation. If there’s one silver lining from the disruption of the past 18 months and more, it’s that it is now much more feasible, and affordable, for organisations to secure and manage end-user devices in this BYOD world.

Automation as a complement to UEM

Organisations can take their UEM to the next level by leveraging technologies that complement (and not necessarily replace) their existing technology solutions, to drive significant IT efficiencies as well as security and reporting benefits.

Devicie supports UEM by enabling organisations of all sizes to maximise the value of Microsoft Intune.

Specifically, Devicie automates the customisation, configuration, and deployment of Intune for management across all end-user devices. Devicie also facilitates ongoing deployment of layered native security in line with best practice frameworks across end-user devices. This means Devicie can deliver multiple layers of security to protect multiple threat vectors with minimal hands-on IT effort, timing delay, and with no agents required.

Importantly, Devicie achieves all this quietly in the background, so end-users can work productively, uninterrupted, regardless of their device or location. Further to that, because the Devicie platform automates device management as a service, it virtually eliminates this time consuming task for overstretched IT teams.

The future is a modern workplace as a service

By harnessing Devicie as their co-pilot, organisations can maximise the return of their Intune investment to achieve a modern workplace where security and productivity on employee devices not only coexist but thrive.

The result is essentially a high performing SOE ‘as a service’, where organisations subscribe to an end-to-end device security and management cloud-native environment and solution, rather than build their own bespoke infrastructure. This environment facilitates UEM outcomes that are far better for security, productivity and end-user experience and effortless for IT teams to set up and manage.

There are tremendous benefits to be had, including fast time to value. And, unlike most bespoke UEM environments, IT won’t have to constantly maintain or upgrade it as the business and technology evolves. This is a huge win that will save significant time and money. Organisations can achieve ongoing IT and security maturity that can be trusted, and proven via a central dashboard.

The reality is that managing your own SOE is time and money wasted – and the same is true with device security and management. Our growing ecosystem of MSP and MSSP partners embracing Devicie to completely automate device security and management as a service for their own and customer organisations also recognise the future state is a far better place for everyone to be.

By subscribing to Devicie organisations can maximise the ROI from their existing UEM investments. They can be confident their employees are working safely and productively, while knowing their technology experts are focused on value-and revenue-generating projects.

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