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5 Nov 14 Industry Insights

"When did Mobile Device Management (MDM) become Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM)?"

Mobility is everything whether you’re a consumer wanting apps offering everything at the touch of a fingertip or an enterprise level global corporate who is looking to mobilise their workforce for competitive advantage. 

 

As the world becomes increasingly obsessed with being able to access or do anything on the move one of the early leaders in the mobile technology products race, Mobile Device Management (MDM), is in danger of losing its way. What was interesting, if not overly revolutionary, technology has become at best commoditised and at worst an impediment to the mobile workforce. 

 

The need to empower workers to use their own phones/devices naturally created security risks and MDM solutions looked to secure data and content to the company ownership. This was exacerbated when popular mobile devices (ie Android and iOS) weren’t supported by the original MDM solutions which were BES.4 and BES.5. To cap it all off the main problem is that it’s not really device problems that are the issue – It is company data that needs to be secured and therefore the applications that mobile devices can use. 

Over the last year or so everyone has been talking EMM as if MDM is dead and buried; however, it still performs an important and evolving part in mobility solutions and that is why MDM is still important but only as a key component of a wider ranging EMM product set. An all-encompassing EMM product ensures that an enterprise’s data is available to its employees and their devices in a manner that is secured, controlled and managed. 

 

The key components are: 

  • Mobile Device Management:

This is where people get confused and have falsely predicted the death of MDM. It is still a standalone product in its own right; however, it more often used in a wider EMM solution these days. 

The MDM products offer relatively basic management of devices – Security of passcodes; remote wiping of device etc. 

 

  • Mobile Application Management (MAM):

MAM is where EMM solutions are becoming more sophisticated and is the main reason why the MDM death-knell has been sounded. It is a key area of enterprise deployment as the spectacular growth of mobile applications and the ease of access to these provides a security risk to any business. Therefore, MAM is essential to controlling applications on any device attached to an enterprise network. 

MAM does this in few ways but the trend is increasingly towards “wrapped Apps” which enables users to use the app in a secure environment with predefined settings and policies depending on requirement of the enterprise. These usually eliminate the need of any MDM on the end user device. 

 

  • Mobile Content Management (MCM)

MCM is an enormous topic – Simply put it is the management of how a user can access, view, store, manipulate or pass on any data that is made available to them on their mobile device. 

EMM is a more sophisticated and mature enterprise product which followed the path blazed by MDM - It has now overtaken and incorporated the concept and the technology. 

 

 

Simon Evans

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