For its recent study, “Unified Endpoint Management: Simplifying the Security and Support of PC and Mobile Devices,” Enterprise Management Associates® (EMA™) surveyed more than 100 IT directors. The results of that survey identify multiple benefits of unified endpoint management (UEM), for IT, for users, and for the enterprise. 

UEM Tames Endpoint Complexity 

EMA found that “the average business professional regularly employs at least two computing devices—including desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones—to perform job tasks. Moreover, roughly half of all workers utilize both a PC and a mobile device in the course of a typical day at the office.” 

This presents daunting endpoint management challenges. “A typical IT support organization must today support a minimum of four different operating environments, each with unique configurations, applications, services, and security protocols.” (See Figure 1.) 

Multi-platform support is just part of the story, according to the EMA survey respondents. Nearly half (48 percent) cited “Ensuring data security” as their top challenge to supporting end-user productivity. “Supporting multi-device architectures” and “Reducing the cost of IT management” were the next-most-cited challenges, by nearly one-third of respondents (31 percent each). (See Figure 2.) 

How best to respond? EMA answers clearly in the conclusion of its research report. “The key to simplifying the management and security of heterogeneous user devices is the adoption of a unified endpoint management platform.” “Organizations should look for platforms that provide fully-integrated support for all endpoint devices in their support stack, rather than a collection of point solutions that are simply accessed from a common console,” EMA added. 

UEM Improves IT Security  

“Security was repeatedly noted as a primary focus for IT managers across EMA’s survey results. In addition to being the most challenging to support, security was identified as the most time-consuming, the most difficult, and the most costly administration practice.” 

How can UEM help? “Overcoming the challenges of enabling security and user productivity in an age of workforce mobility and multi-device support requires a fundamental shift from traditional endpoint management processes.” More specifically, a modern UEM solution “must include fully integrated support for security assurance. In this way, administrators can employ a common set of processes for recording device information, patching and updating software components, provisioning applications, and ensuring continuous security compliance. Additionally, a single set of user profiles defining access rights, privileges, and default configurations can be maintained for all supported device platforms to ensure consistency and eliminate duplicate management efforts.”

How effective are such measures? Cybersecurity recommendations from industry bodies worldwide align closely with the Critical Security Controls recommended by the Center for Internet Security (CIS). That agency estimates that implementing the top five of its recommended controls can reduce the risk of cyberattacks by 85 percent. A modern UEM solution can enable four of those top five controls: 

  • inventory of authorized and unauthorized devices; 
  • inventory of authorized and unauthorized software; 
  • secure endpoint configurations; and 
  • control of administrative privileges. 

UEM Makes Users Happier and More Productive 

EMA says a modern UEM solution is “essential to creating consistent user experiences. User productivity is significantly boosted when they can focus on the job tasks they need to perform rather than how to access them. When business application, data, and services are accessible in a predictable way, with the same restrictions and access requirements for all devices, users are liberated to employ any device they find most appropriate to their current location and the tasks they need to perform. In this way, IT services are directly aligned with business requirements to deliver a more efficient and cost-effective approach to client lifecycle management that addresses the demanding service delivery challenges of a mobile workforce.” 

A modern UEM solution not only enables more consistent, flexible, and secure user experiences. It also makes it possible to “ensure a single set of profiles can be maintained for all supported users and devices.” 

UEM Enables Better IT and Business Decisions

A modern UEM solution can make it easier to know, show, and tell valuable information about your endpoints, in technical or business-centric contexts as needed. More knowledge about endpoints can also help IT identify and exploit opportunities to reduce costs, improve performance, improve security, or deliver other business benefits. 

The EMA report makes clear how a modern UEM solution can best benefit IT and the enterprise. “Functional integrations must include consolidated data collections on endpoint configurations, software, and performance status, which can enable holistic reporting and alarming for prompt identification of issues and root cause analysis.” Similar integrations with business processes and tools can expand the benefits of UEM beyond IT.

Ivanti: Your UEM Partner 

Ivanti offers multiple solutions to improve UEM at your enterprise. Ivanti solutions can help you to discover and inventory your endpointsmanage administrative privilegesautomate and secure application deployments, and even reduce user logon times. Ivanti can also enable defense in depth against ransomware and other threats. 

Download the complete EMA report to learn more about the benefits a modern UEM solution can deliver. Then contact Ivanti, and let us help you get on the road to modern UEM at your enterprise. 

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