Last year, Forrester separated out unified endpoint management (UEM) into its own category in its research, defining UEM as “products that provide a centralized policy engine for managing and securing employee laptops and mobile devices from a single console.” In their 2019 research report, the analyst firm defined what UEM means to organizations looking to optimize their endpoint management strategy.
As UEM continues to permeate the enterprise, Forrester noted that organizations “increasingly see UEM as a critical piece of their digital employee experience strategies because of the need to provide secure access to task-critical information regardless of device, app, or location.”
Essentially, UEM platforms are the next generation of device management tools. A culmination of mobile device management (MDM), enterprise mobility management (EMM) and client management philosophies outfitted with user-minded functionality — ensuring that not only is corporate data protected via secure access pathways, but that productivity and convenience are not sacrificed as users attempt to work from any device.
A Year in Review: Round 2 for UEM
In 2019, Forrester illustrated the need for balance in an organization’s endpoint endeavors, from providing an intuitive user experience — defined as employee experience (EX) — up to the point where that experience must give way to security.
Forrester noted that “I&O teams are looking for vendors to help them embed modern management and zero trust within their end user computing environments.”
UEM vendors look to help establish that zero-trust stance via augmented identity and access management (IAM) controls. More specifically, native threat detection capabilities allow for risk-based conditional access or the development of user risk profiles.
On the side of modern management, the 2019 report found that a major mission of UEM is to enhance coexistence between modern API-driven management policy and traditional client management tools (CMTs), or to help organizations migrate away from CMTs altogether.
Judge’s Table: How Vendors Were Scored in 2019
The 2019 report evaluated 13 vendors, naming five of them as Leaders. However, the solutions themselves have all matured, adapting to the new market that Forrester defined in three major parts. UEM providers must:
- Enable a better digital employee experience;
- Provide a path to modern management; and
- Offer advanced security capabilities natively.
The 13 evaluated vendors were scored across 23 distinct criteria, including:
- Current offering: EX, management capabilities and security features
- Strategy: revenue growth, partner ecosystem, roadmap execution and product vision
- Market presence: client base, Windows 10 client base, devices under management and revenue
This group of 13 was found by Forrester to be the most significant group of vendors in the UEM market.
What Does IBM Bring to the Table?
IBM was positioned as a Leader in the UEM Forrester Wave. To quickly reiterate, Forrester expects a UEM solution to delight organizations and their employees with a user-friendly digital experience, build a bridge to modern management via coexistence with or outright migration from CMTs, and deliver native security functionality from out-of-the-box IAM to threat defense.
Excite With Insights
IBM MaaS360 comes equipped with artificial intelligence (AI) and analytics to help administrators quickly surface relevant insights about their devices and operating systems. It is IBM’s view that this capability helps to enhance the customer and end-user experience — from providing industry-based policy recommendations and real-time risk insights to deploying an AI assistant within the MaaS360 agent to address common support and setup questions.
Modernize to Optimize
MaaS360 aims to support coexistence in whichever form it takes, integrating with CMTs from SCCM to BigFix in an effort to facilitate the eventual migration to a fully unified approach. From Windows 7 and 10 to macOS and Chrome OS, MaaS360 supports API-based management on top of robust client management capabilities, which according to Forrester in this year’s report, “makes IBM one of the most fully featured management products on the market today.”
MaaS360 addresses the final piece of the UEM puzzle through native identity and threat detection capabilities supported by IBM Cloud Identity and IBM Trusteer. A go-to-market partnership with Wandera builds upon the threat detection stance with full mobile threat defense (MTD), tying into the identity portion of MaaS360 through the inclusion of risk-based conditional access. Additionally, MaaS360 builds risk profiles of enrolled users to give organizations a comprehensive view of the potential impact their employees have on corporate security.
The goal of a strong UEM platform is unifying and modernizing management, enhancing security and providing a positive end-user experience. IBM is proud to be recognized as a Leader in this space, but don’t just take my word for it. Download the report to learn for yourself why many in IT and security have turned to unified endpoint management for their device and user management needs.