What is EMM?
Enterprise mobility management is an umbrella term that refers to the systems and processes employed by an organization to enable the use of mobile devices like smartphones, tablets and laptops in an enterprise setting.
EMM enables the ability for organizations to manage the email, applications, content, security policies and more on mobile devices. Once an employee enters their user name and password, an EMM provider configures the WiFi, corporate email, security settings like passcode requirements, the public or internally developed applications specific to who that user is in an organization, and content a specific user needs.
EMM is a field that is still growing and changing. As innovations are developed and mobile operating system providers make new capabilities available, the space is continually adapting and evolving. EMM has come into existence in recent years in large part due to the explosive adoption rate of smartphones, tablets and laptops running Apple’s iOS and Mac OSX, Google’s Android and Chrome, and Microsoft’s Windows and Windows Phone operating systems. As employees increasingly rely on these devices in the workplace, solutions such as AirWatch by VMware become critical in delivering the flexibility and agility needed to power corporate-owned devices, BYOD initiatives or any deployment structure, without sacrificing productivity or security.
Why does EMM matter?
Most employers today recognize that allowing workers to utilize the devices they feel most comfortable and familiar with helps improve satisfaction, as well as productivity. Many also recognize that they can completely change the way they operate and experience massive returns on labor, costs and employee effectiveness through the business process innovation that EMM can provide. But with the ever-growing plethora of available mobile devices and operating systems, the task of managing it all is getting more and more complex. The fact that a new operating system update or device comes to market virtually every 15 days adds to this complexity.
CIOs need to worry not only about facilitating an IT infrastructure that works smoothly with a very broad range of mobile devices, but they must also ensure that corporate security policies are administered consistently. EMM solutions provide organizations with the flexibility to deliver full MDM, container- or app-based management based on their security, enablement and compliance requirements.
Full MDM refers to management of the entire device while container or app-based management only manages a specific corporate persona on the device or specific applications, respectively. These approaches are designed to deliver a seamless experience for the end user, while also providing for the complete separation of corporate and personal data on any given mobile device. Management can subsequently be standardized and simplified, in turn mitigating the risk of a security breach or data loss.
Is EMM being adopted?
For any organization serious about extending the devices, content and applications that change the way employees do their jobs or allowing employees to access corporate resources offsite, a robust EMM solution should be top of mind, if one has not already been adopted. While many companies still rely on legacy mobile device management (MDM) to oversee employee smartphones and tablets, most MDM vendors have themselves already moved on to selling EMM solutions. Fortunately, the transition to EMM can be simple and painless, with providers such as AirWatch offering streamlined migration services from legacy systems.
At many leading corporations, EMM has already been embraced thanks to its efficiency and cost savings. With the use of mobile devices only continuing to proliferate, EMM systems are sure to become the status quo when it comes to enabling business mobility.