Conceptual predecessors of Unified Endpoint Management are client management, client lifecycle management or desktop management on the one hand for classic computers and enterprise mobility management (EMM) on the other hand for mobile devices. The need to administer these different form factors was initially often solved with separate software products. In the meantime, many manufacturers are moving to combine the management functions into a software suite in order to make it easier for the user to use.
The term Unified Endpoint Management (UEM) refers to the uniform management of devices (endpoints) of the IT environment of organizations. Devices mean both classic desktop computers and servers as well as mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. In the future, it is to be expected that other forms of device (see Internet of Things)will also be managed with it. In addition, the pandemic-related migration to the home office has brought the need for protection and management of end devices into the focus of many organizations, in particular. also with regard to the use of private devices (Bring your own device – BYOD). Nowadays, businesses are facing an increase in the numbers of devices which are been used to access their networks. These continuous rise of endpoints in the workplace — from wearables to tablets to IoT devices has made endpoint management is more important than ever.
Functions of Unified Endpoint Management (UEM)
Typical tasks in the UEM are:
- Inventory of the device hardware and the software installed on it
- Updating the software (patch management)
- Installation and updating of operating systems or firmware
- Installation of software or apps (software distribution)
- Vulnerability Management
- Remote Access
- Backup and Recovery
- Energy management
- License management
- Configuration management
Image courtesy : VMWare Blog
According to Gartner, the adoption rate of Unified Endpoint Management among user companies as well as the takeovers and partnerships of providers as well as the further development of the corresponding products accelerated in 2020. UEM tools are now positioned in such a way that they support infrastructure and operations managers in enabling location-independent operation.
The market researchers assume that by 2024 more than half of all organizations will have consolidated endpoint management and security tasks on a single console – in 2020 it was less than five percent. In addition, the analysis of end devices and automation possible with UEM would then help the service employees responsible for digital workplaces to shift 30 percent of their time spent on support and repairs to continuous engineering.
The bad news for providers: Gartner rates Unified Endpoint Management as a mature market with only limited growth opportunities – for example through new use cases for frontline workers and acquisitions by small to medium-sized companies. Accordingly, sales and license growth would only be driven by organic growth among existing customers, for example if they expanded device management from mobile devices to Windows and macOS computers.