In the modern enterprise, devices have grown in number, variety and complexity. Use cases have consequently swelled in number, putting pressure on IT and security leaders to deliver an effective means to manage any type of device from one platform. Of tantamount importance, end users who demand anytime, anywhere access to corporate apps and resources expect a consistent experience no matter what device they’re using.

Business leaders must select a unified endpoint management (UEM) platform that balances these needs accordingly.

As a newly emerging market, a plethora of UEM research has been published to help decision-makers understand how this technology addresses their biggest challenges and what criteria they should look for in their platform:

  • Low-touch, no-touch laptop deployments that enable over-the-air (OTA) out-of-box user experiences
  • Threat management to combat phishing, cryptojacking and man-in-the-middle (MitM) attacks
  • Artificial intelligence (AI) and analytics for awareness, prioritization and informed decision-making
  • Identity and access management (IAM) to deliver access to recognized, compliant users
  • Platform convergence, combining agent- and mobile device management (MDM) application programming interface (API)-based management techniques

With these criteria considered, there’s a caveat: Unified endpoint management is complex, and it’s far from simple to determine where to begin in developing the business case for a UEM purchase.

Download “The Total Economic Impact of IBM MaaS360 With Watson”

What Criteria Must Be Measured to Capture an ROI on UEM?

One of the biggest mistakes that can be made is to size up a UEM investment strictly using dollars and cents. Time is a major consideration (e.g., time spent deploying and configuring endpoints, auditing and updating them, resolving tickets). Human capital is another area that gets brushed aside; it’s important to quantify how many full-time resources you have dedicated to managing your UEM environment. Lastly, what does an organization sacrifice when ignoring the benefits of improving the end-user experience (e.g., autonomy, productivity)?

Enter the Total Economic Impact (TEI): a return on investment (ROI) measuring stick for UEM.

To help decision-makers take all of these factors into consideration, IBM commissioned Forrester Consulting to conduct a study: “The Total Economic Impact of IBM MaaS360 With Watson.” For the study, Forrester gathered a substantial amount of information relating to real-life UEM customer environments. Forrester assessed approaches that were taken before and after using the tool and was able to substantiate a considerable ROI and notably short timeline to reach break-even on investment.

To help demonstrate the takeaways from the study, Forrester developed a composite organization that was representative of the UEM administrators that Forrester interviewed: a U.S.-based, global, multibillion-dollar financial services organization with nearly 10,000 employees using over 20,000 endpoints that span from Apple iOS and macOS to Android and Windows 10.

Over three years, MaaS360 improved developer and administrator productivity and cut costs. (Source: “The Total Economic Impact of IBM MaaS360 With Watson,” a commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of IBM.)

Time’s A-Wastin’! Can It Be Saved With Unified Endpoint Management?

Before using UEM, the composite customer had to manually provision and configure each endpoint, a time-consuming endeavor to say the least. It also took time to set up end users with everything they need to be productive; IT administrators had to manually install department-specific applications and devices at setup. Another significant time suck was auditing and updating, since management methods for endpoints were uneven and varied based on device type.

Curing configuration challenges, UEM enabled the composite customer to initiate a low-touch, no-touch process that substantially reduced the time and effort needed to configure endpoints, resulting in a 96 percent reduction in time spent. Leveraging more granular provisioning capabilities in conjunction with IAM, IT administrators and end users saved time during the setup process — a 47 percent reduction. The composite organization also saw an 85 percent reduction in the time needed to create and provision new accounts, as well as a 55 percent reduction in the time needed to distribute and manage access to new devices.

With UEM, auditing and updating also became far more simplified. IT administrators gained full visibility into their security posture across endpoints and operating systems in one, centralized console, reducing the time needed to audit (by 58 percent) and update software (by 50 percent) for endpoints.

Reducing Reliance on the Help Desk Team and Avoiding Major Security Incidents

Before implementing UEM, the composite organization had no way of deflecting routine ticket requests, which could range from password resets to mapping printers and installing applications.

Once it had adopted UEM, the composite organization implemented the following features:

By putting these features to work, the volume of support tickets submitted was reduced by 50 percent and the time needed to resolve remaining tickets decreased by 55 percent.

Beyond the help desk, the composite organization experienced an 80 percent reduction in the number of cyber security incidents it experienced. With their UEM investment, the organization avoided 266 days of remediation time per avoided incident. While the financial analysis focuses solely on just the team’s time to deal with an incident, Forrester urges organizations to consider the wider implications of a security breach – the average cost of a security breach was recently estimated to be $3.86 million dollars, and rising year over year.

Use TEI to Measure Your ROI

If you’re looking for ways to apply the learnings from this study to your organization, look no further. IBM hosted a webinar on June 6 with featured guest speaker Adrienne Capaldo of Forrester Research. View the on-demand recording where Adrienne goes into further depth on the TEI study and shares additional use case examples, key results and a financial summary that can be used to measure your potential ROI on your UEM investment.

Download the on-demand the webinar

More from Endpoint

Deploying Security Automation to Your Endpoints

Globally, data is growing at an exponential rate. Due to factors like information explosion and the rising interconnectivity of endpoints, data growth will only become a more pressing issue. This enormous influx of data will invariably affect security teams. Faced with an enormous amount of data to sift through, analysts are feeling the crunch. Subsequently, alert fatigue is already a problem for analysts overwhelmed with security tasks. With the continued shortage of qualified staff, organizations are looking for automation to…

Threat Management and Unified Endpoint Management

The worst of the pandemic may be behind us, but we continue to be impacted by it. School-aged kids are trying to catch up academically and socially after two years of disruption. Air travel is a mess. And all businesses have seen a spike in cyberattacks. Cyber threats increased by 81% while COVID-19 was at its peak, with 79% of all organizations experiencing a loss of business operations during that time. The risk of cyberattacks increased so much that the…

3 Ways EDR Can Stop Ransomware Attacks

Ransomware attacks are on the rise. While these activities are low-risk and high-reward for criminal groups, their consequences can devastate their target organizations. According to the 2022 Cost of a Data Breach report, the average cost of a ransomware attack is $4.54 million, without including the cost of the ransom itself. Ransomware breaches also took 49 days longer than the data breach average to identify and contain. Worse, criminals will often target the victim again, even after the ransom is…

How EDR Security Supports Defenders in a Data Breach

The cost of a data breach has reached an all-time high. It averaged $4.35 million in 2022, according to the newly published IBM Cost of a Data Breach Report. What’s more, 83% of organizations have faced more than one data breach, with just 17% saying this was their first data breach. What can organizations do about this? One solution is endpoint detection and response (EDR) software. Take a look at how an effective EDR solution can help your security teams. …