Why businesses should stay in control with Device Management tools
In today's dynamic business landscape, the importance of device management has surged to the forefront. With the ever-growing reliance on a multitude of devices, from smartphones to IoT sensors, maintaining control and security is paramount. This article delves into the critical role that device management tools, like Unified Endpoint Management, play in safeguarding data, optimizing performance, and ensuring compliance in an increasingly interconnected world. We will explore the challenges posed by the expanding device ecosystem and highlight the strategies and solutions necessary for businesses to maintain control over their digital infrastructure.
What is Unified Endpoint Management?
United Endpoint Management refers to a centralized system that allows for the management, security, and deployment of corporate resources and applications on any company-owned device (mobiles, desktops, laptops, IoTs etc.) from a single console.
As the rise of mobile devices increased by the mid-2000s, Mobile Device Management became the leading response for organizations to manage their fleet of company owned devices, securing them with data protection and compliance protocols. IT managers could configure settings and distribute applications used exclusively by companies. However, as mobile usage increased even further, with the appearance of smart devices, the evolution of MDM progressed into Enterprise Mobility Management. EMM takes the principles of device management and enhances that further with more granular control of the actual settings of installed applications like email app clients & web browsers while also controlling a user’s access to enterprise file storage & content stored on the cloud. As the use of technology increased further to ubiquity, companies needed a way to access mobile devices as well as portable laptops, devices, and Internet of Things from one main access point. This cultivated into what we now call Unified Endpoint Management, that took the lessons learned from early tools of MDM and EMM, ensuring that everything is under access and control from the organisation that covers their entire IT environment.
Why device management is needed in this changing landscape
- Proliferation of devices in business operations: As the needs of organizations have increased with the widespread adoption of technology, transformations have led to businesses to streamline operations, enhance productivity, work in diverse environments, and many tasks regulated to devices that suits specific needs like high end desktops for content creation, to affordable laptops for business presentations and basic admin in multiple locations.
- Challenges posed by unmanaged devices: However, if left without proper supervision can lead to data breaches, where sensitive information that could lead to disruption of a business may be leaked and exposed, compliance violations where the devices may not be used in their intended manner, and increased vulnerability to malicious malware, that could hinder the performance of these devices. Additionally, all of these tend to happen to due lack of management; OTA security patches may not be implemented despite their availability, the user experience will be inconsistent without the same features across all devices, and data shared across the cloud may not be in sync, especially if applications aren't updated.
- Need for centralized control and security: While these problems could represent a nuisance with a smaller fleet of devices, the problem compounds as the number of mobiles, tablets and laptops scale up to meet the demands of a thriving business. As such, it would call for the need of a tool that can overcome these challenges, which comes through the form of UEM.
What are the features of device management tools?
- Remote monitoring and control: provides administrators with real-time, up to date information about the status and performance of their devices including device health, software and hardware inventory and security compliance, with dashboards and reports. Additionally remote control allows for administrators to gain direct access to a devices screen, keyboard and mouse enabling troubleshooting solutions for technical issues, providing essential support for remote users.
- Security and compliance enforcement: This control further develops into ways to better enact security protocols, where administrators can enforce company policies and apply over-the-air security updates to devices. Configurations, settings, and behaviors are set, considering device encryption, password complexity, network access, internet usage, and many more!
- Hardware and software management: UEM offers a complete list of all managed devices, with details that include device type, model, serial number. Device and settings configurations are managed and applied in a convenient and faster manner, where such configurations are implemented in the press of a button. In the case of a breach, or lost device, lock and wipe abilities are available to ensure no access of sensitive data by third parties. This also applies to software management, where UEM facilities the deployment of specific applications that are mandatory for end users, with whitelisting and blacklisting available, to reduce any probability of malware and viruses appearing. Software usage can also be observed, helping companies identify underutilized or unnecessary applications.
The benefits of UEM for mobile devices
UEM offers a host of benefits that are especially crucial in today's dynamic and interconnected business landscape, even as Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies become more prevalent. Firstly, it plays a pivotal role in mitigating security risks linked to unmanaged devices by ensuring that all endpoints adhere to established security policies, regardless of whether they are corporate-owned or personal devices. This includes implementing encryption and authentication protocols, effectively safeguarding sensitive data and minimizing the risk of unauthorized access. Moreover, UEM enables organizations to enforce security policies and access controls uniformly, thus maintaining a consistent security strength across all devices and reducing vulnerabilities stemming from unequal configurations. In the event of data breaches or security incidents, UEM's centralized management and monitoring capabilities empower organizations to respond swiftly and effectively, with remote control and wipe functionalities helping to mitigate potential damage and protect critical information.
This translates to a range of benefits that significantly elevates a company’s team in their productivity and efficiency. Firstly, UEM streamlines device provisioning and deployment, automating the setup process and ensuring that devices are quickly configured with standardized settings. This expedites onboarding for new users and minimizes manual configuration errors. Secondly, UEM optimizes device performance and minimizes downtime by actively monitoring device health and identifying potential issues before they escalate, thereby fostering a seamless user experience. Additionally, UEM's remote troubleshooting and support capabilities empower IT teams to address issues in real-time, irrespective of the device's location, reducing the need for in-person interventions and accelerating problem resolution. Lastly, UEM simplifies the management of software updates and patches, automating the distribution of critical updates to endpoints. This ensures devices are consistently up-to-date, bolstering security and preventing vulnerabilities that can be exploited by cyber threats.
The modern business landscape is undeniably reliant on a vast array of devices, making effective device management a cornerstone for success. As organizations continue to navigate the complexities of connectivity and security, the role of device management tools becomes increasingly pivotal. By embracing robust management strategies, businesses can safeguard sensitive data, streamline operations, and maintain compliance. The ever-evolving technology landscape demands proactive measures, and the control achieved through these tools will undoubtedly shape the future of business in our interconnected world.
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