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03 Nov 2023 | 09:00

What is enterprise mobility management (EMM)?

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An explanation - with tips for implementation

The meaning of EMM: software solutions vs. managed services

Enterprise mobility management (EMM) is a critical software solution that empowers businesses to effectively manage their mobile device ecosystem. EMM grants enterprises remote control over various aspects of their workforce’s mobile device estate, leading to improved security, increased control over mobile devices, and streamlined device management. 

To ensure that the EMM delivers its designed benefits optimally, many businesses choose to partner with enterprise mobility managed service providers. These providers play a crucial role in setting up EMM solutions, implementing best practices, configuring folder structures, profiles and packages, and managing the solution end-to-end. This collaborative approach ensures that EMM is not only adopted but also fine-tuned to meet the specific needs of the organisation, ultimately leading to a more efficient and secure mobile device management strategy.

What is EMM?

Enterprise mobility management (EMM) software allows organisations to securely enable employee use of mobile devices and applications. It grants control over user IDs, device access, data restrictions, app permissions and more for a wide range of mobile devices, including handheld computers, rugged PDAs, smartphones, and rugged tablets

The history of EMM

The history of EMM dates back to the proliferation of mobile devices in the workplace, a trend that accelerated with the release of the iPhone in 2007. As mobile devices become integral to work processes, the need for effective management and security solutions became apparent. EMM solutions evolved to address the challenges posed by trends like “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD) and the increasing reliance on enterprise mobile apps. Data security has become a significant concern, raising questions about managing data on users’ personal devices, access levels, and liability in case of data breaches.

The answer lies in enterprise mobility management (EMM). However, the process of implementing EMM isn’t straightforward. EMM solutions are often a collection of functionalities that may or may not align with a business’s specific needs. 

Over time, EMM solutions have become more sophisticated to meet the ever-changing landscape of mobile technology and security concerns. It's essential for businesses to navigate these challenges effectively to ensure their mobile device management strategy is secure and efficient.

Core elements of EMM 

Enterprise mobility management (EMM) encompasses a range of core elements that are essential for effective mobile device management within an organisation. An EMM solution may include:

  • Mobile device management (MDM), which covers the lifecycle of mobile devices
  • Mobile application management (MAM), which relates to mobile applications, their settings and use
  • Mobile identity management (MIM), which refers to permissions and means of identifying users, and more.

These functionalities must be integrated with the enterprise’s own business policies and regional compliance requirements, adding complexity to the implementation.

In essence, EMM addresses a vital need, as an unsecured or poorly-managed mobile device can lead to catastrophic consequences in a world where 30,000 websites are hacked daily and 4.8 billion records were breached in 2022 alone. However, EMM can be complex and challenging to implement.

The challenges of EMM

Despite the importance of EMM, implementing these solutions is not without its challenges. EMM solutions are not a one-size-fits-all, and they require customisation to align with an organisation’s specific needs and compliance requirement. Additionally, language differences (particularly if the business operates in multiple locations with various languages), regulatory demands of different territories and evolving technologies can further complicate the implementation of EMM solutions. It's essential for businesses to navigate these challenges effectively to ensure their mobile device management strategy is secure and efficient.

The role of managed services

How to maximise productivity with EMM and a managed service provider

One of the primary goals of EMM is to enhance productivity while maintaining security and compliance. To achieve this, IT departments can empower workers by providing them with the necessary applications and data on their mobile devices. Organisations should focus on maximising the use of EMM features and capabilities, ensuring seamless integration into their day-to-day operations. Strategies for achieving maximum productivity with EMM include optimising mobile app usage, strengthening device security, and streamlining device management processes.

Managed services offer a solution to ensure these strategies are implemented effectively. Businesses can delegate the management of their mobile device estate to a trusted third party. These partners work closely with organisations to understand their specific needs, present best-fit options for purchasing EMM solutions, and tailor enterprise mobility management services to fit perfectly. This approach is a more streamlined and bespoke form of EMM, covering various aspects of mobile device management (MDM), supply, maintenance, device lifecycle management, proactive device monitoring, professional services, business intelligence, multi-language support, and more. Managed services ensure both security enhancements and alignment with evolving functionalities.

How do I find out more about managed services?

You may find our web pages on managed services interesting; alternatively, why not contact us?

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