Narrowing the Gaps in Unified Endpoint Management (UEM)
By John Harrington Jr., IBM
June 6, 2018
What did information technology (IT) and security leaders do when they needed a simple, effective means to manage and secure their mobile devices — and provide secure access to enterprise data? They devised and implemented mobile device management (MDM) and enterprise mobility management (EMM) solutions.
But modern IT teams are responsible for accommodating a vast range of endpoints and enterprise use cases. They now need a platform that offers total visibility and control over their entire endpoint and mobile environment.
Fortunately, a unified endpoint management (UEM) solution delivers on the promise of bringing it all together under one management console: smartphones, tablets, laptops, desktops, wearables and the Internet of Things (IoT).
UEM: Spot Your App Gap
With UEM’s all-encompassing support considered, it might seem to cover all the bases on the surface. However, there are two significant gaps that, if ignored, can hold organizations back from capturing its true benefits: inadequate visibility into the app deployment life cycle and lack of insight into real-world security policy recommendations.
It remains a challenge to discern which enterprise apps are being used and whether they are delivering a return on investment (ROI). For example, IT teams would love the answers to these common questions:
With this sizable knowledge gap, IT teams are forgoing making informed decisions. They may be investing in all the apps equally — but, in actuality, one app may need more investment and resources while another may need to be decommissioned. These are the types of decisions that can be made when the right data is available to IT teams.
Configuration Confidence Goes a Long Way
Policy management is yet another fundamental component of a UEM solution where adequate guidance is lacking, and a large gap exists. If your IT team is like most, it relies heavily on internal collaboration to decide what goes into its security policy configurations.
There may be templates at your disposal, but they may be step-by-step, one-size-fits-all guides that aren’t geared toward your organization and its individual needs. There’s no clear-cut way to know what your peers are doing — or whether there are better methods and approaches you should be following.
Ideally, your UEM would give you an easy way to understand how to configure common policies, including:
Imagine a way to configure your policies with guidance that is dynamically presented every step of the way, catered to your organization and the size of your deployment. Whether you’re new to the game — or have been managing policies for years — a little confidence in your configurations goes a long way.
Overcoming UEM App and Policy Gaps
As both examples demonstrate, UEM does not offer a clear indication of whether your configurations are netting a positive impact — nor does it show whether they’re in alignment with best practices.
Luckily, innovation in the UEM market is helping to narrow the gaping gaps that exist in UEM. IBM MaaS360 with Watson, for example, has announced the availability of two new features that take these challenges head-on: Business Dashboards for Apps and Policy Recommendation Engine.
Graphs for Your Apps
With Business Dashboards for Apps, IBM MaaS360 UEM administrators gain robust app intelligence and reporting capabilities, which helps them understand the full assortment of enterprise apps deployed and a means to determine which ones need attention and prioritization.
Enterprise app analytics available via the MaaS360 UEM portal.
You can also apply filters across data sets to identify gaps and subscribe to reports that allow you to analyze data across specific apps or collections of apps.
Get It, Don’t Guess It
The Policy Recommendation Engine eliminates the guessing game that IT teams normally play when configuring their security policies with real-time cognitive templates based on industry, region and deployment size. As policies are being configured, recommendations will be dynamically displayed that clearly indicate how current inputs match up to peers. If administrators choose to apply the recommendations, they can do so with the simple click of a button.
Example of a Cognitive Recommendation displayed during MaaS360 passcode policy configuration process.