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What is UEM? Unified endpoint management explained

Unified endpoint management (UEM) describes a set of technologies used to secure and manage a wide range of employee devices and operating systems — all from a single console.

Seen as the next generation of mobility software, UEM tools incorporate several existing enterprise mobility management (EMM) technologies — including mobile device management (MDM) and mobile application management (MAM) — with some of the tools used to secure desktop PCs and laptops.

“UEM in theory ties this all together and gives you that proverbial one pane of glass, so you can see the state of all of your endpoints,” said Phil Hochmuth, program vice president at IDC. “It gives you visibility into what people are doing with corporate data, corporate apps, on any conceivable type of device.”

While UEM products have been around for a few years, demand accelerated in the past 18 months due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For many IT teams forced to support a remote workforce on short notice, UEM tools helped manage employee devices used to access corporate data outside of the firewall.

“The pandemic was really a driving force in the move to UEM,” said Dan Wilson, senior director and analyst at Gartner. “Organizations that were comfortable with their on-premises mobile and PC management tools were required to rearchitect completely as the vast majority of devices moved remote.” 

The evolution of mobile management – MDM, MAM, and more

At its core, UEM consists of several device management technologies that emerged to help businesses control employee mobile devices. The first iteration of such tools was MDM, which arrived about a decade ago.

Copyright © 2021 IDG Communications, Inc.

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