It’s now been a full year since Gartner introduced its inaugural “Magic Quadrant for Unified Endpoint Management.” Before we dig into the newly released 2019 report, let’s quickly review how we arrived at unified endpoint management (UEM) and what drove the need for this new category.

It all began with mobile device management (MDM). MDM has traditionally provided information and operations professionals with the ability to quickly enroll, manage and enforce compliance policy by leveraging APIs on mobile devices such as iPhones, iPads and Androids.

Enterprise mobility management (EMM) was soon introduced to fill these gaps through the addition of secure containers — encrypted sandboxes for data leakage prevention (DLP) installed on an end user device — as well as APIs for laptop management.

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So, why UEM? As Gartner notes, “Adoption of Windows 10, Google Chrome OS and Apple macOS will drive the need for a combined endpoint management console in greater than 70 percent of organizations by 2024.”

Charting a Course to Unification

Various vendors have responded to customers’ need for UEM by combining three major management strategies: high security to mitigate device and user risk, digital workspaces for a consistent user experience across all devices and an open ecosystem to tie into existing organizational infrastructure. How well do these shifts line up with Gartner’s definition of UEM in 2019?

In this year’s report, Gartner once again evaluated vendors against a strict set of criteria. For this report, it was determined that a successful UEM must:

  • “Provide a single console to configure, manage and monitor traditional mobile devices, PCs and device management of Internet of Things (IoT) assets.
  • Unify the application of data protection, device configuration and usage policies.
  • Provide a single view of multidevice users for enhancing efficacy of end-user support and gathering workplace analytics.
  • Act as a coordination point to orchestrate the activities of related endpoint technologies such as identity services, security infrastructure and CMTs.”

From Coexistence to Simply Existence

UEM is not only the next step in the evolution of MDM and EMM. While currently the goal of a UEM is to bridge the management gap and coexist with a CMT, Gartner notes that “organizations are reporting to Gartner that their reliance on CMT-native functions such as device imaging, centralized patch management and the ability to deploy traditional application payloads (.EXE, .MSI packages) and interpret existing policy schemes (via GPOs) are key features a UEM product must offer to aid in their transition to UEM.”

Gartner continues, outlining the belief that “the need to migrate from CMTs is a starting point that most organizations face.” However, complications can arise for organizations aspiring to make the complete jump to UEM as the single point of management. It can be difficult to offboard from legacy processes, and some organizations are reliant on Win32 applications. Factors such as these give rise to the current coexistence model.

UEM Is the Future of Security and the IoT

While the primary focus of this year’s Magic Quadrant centered around a UEM solution’s ability to coexist with or assist in the migration away from CMTs, Gartner also outlined additional functionality that helps identify a Magic Quadrant Leader in the UEM space.

As the business landscape trends toward automation and technological innovation, nontraditional device deployments continue to multiply. These deployments include a mixed bag ranging from the IoT and IoT gateways, to wearables and ruggedized devices, to augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) platforms.

In the world of UEM, managing and securing these endpoints can be just as mission-critical as provisioning a Windows 10 laptop to a new employee. From industrial and manufacturing factory floors, banking kiosks, pharmaceutical cleanrooms and beyond, new device technology will continue to be implemented, requiring endpoint management providers to support increasingly complex environments.

With increased complexity comes increased risk. Each new machine is a potential point of failure when an end user interacts with it. A UEM tool’s inclusion of or ability to integrate with identity-as-a-service (IDaaS) and related identity technologies ensures that any user interaction — through appropriate conditional access checks — can be verified as safe.

IBM Named a Magic Quadrant Leader in Unified Endpoint Management

IBM was named a Leader in the “2019 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Unified Endpoint Management” for its ability to execute and completeness of vision.

IBM MaaS360 with Watson UEM provides a security-centric approach to endpoint management, striking a balance between high security and end user productivity. By incorporating tools such as MTD and IDaaS, MaaS360 takes a holistic approach to endpoint security, managing the entire user.

From data, apps and devices to the network itself, MaaS360 provides a pathway to zero trust by regularly ensuring that users do not pose a risk to their organization and verifying whether those users are authorized to access corporate data in the first place. This is accomplished with minimal end user interaction to avoid interruption and inconvenience as employees go about their working day.

This entire approach is enhanced through the inclusion of AI analytics for administrators—surfacing real-time risk and opportunity insights specific to a customer’s deployed devices, apps, and operating systems—as well as a voice-enabled AI Assistant for end users that quickly addresses support issues and app questions, and assists with a range of tasks from scheduling meetings to searching through email.

Beyond these capabilities, IBM is developing deep integrations with existing CMT tools to enable the much-needed coexistence organizations are currently striving to accomplish.

To learn more about MaaS360 and Gartner’s overall assessment of the UEM industry, download your complimentary copy of the “2019 Magic Quadrant for Unified Endpoint Management.”

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Gartner, Magic Quadrant for Unified Endpoint Management Tools, 6 August 2019, Chris Silva, Manjunath Bhat, Rich Doheny, Rob Smith

Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, express or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

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