Our Comprehensive Enterprise Mobility Management Glossary

Our Comprehensive Enterprise Mobility Management Glossary

Mobile Device Management (MDM) and its branches can prove confusing to the layperson. In fact, it can even perplex more experienced IT decision-makers. Therefore, we compiled some of the most important concepts in the market in this Enterprise Mobility Management Glossary.

We don’t intend this Enterprise Mobility Management Glossary to detail every possible technical term in the market; such a list would require multiple pages and much of your valuable time. Instead, we sought to create a list outlining the major solution categories in this field. Thus, you can use this glossary to guide your thinking or as a jumping off point for further research.

If your enterprise currently seeks a mobility management solution, you need all the facts you can get. Let this Enterprise Mobility Management Glossary help!

The Enterprise Mobility Management Glossary

Before we dive into the different mobility branches, let’s lay the foundation for the market:

Mobile

According to technology research giant Gartner, mobile refers to devices and technologies enabling customer and prospect mobility. Smartphones, tablets, and wearables all fit into this category. Further “mobile” refers to the interaction with mobile devices and the interactions’ context, such as application use frequency.  

Mobility

Mobility serves as an umbrella for mobile; in other words, it refers to the context of mobile remains balanced, marketable, and optimal. When mobility and mobile receive equal consideration, the greater context of the former allows for more comprehensiveness and adaptability.

Internet of Things (IoT)

The Internet of Things (IoT) occupies an interesting space in this market; they aren’t technically mobile devices, yet they also differ radically from traditional endpoints. In summary, the IoT refers to any “smart” devices—devices which connect to your IT environment for whatever reason. These can include virtual assistants, webcameras, Internet-capable watches, and even automated thermostats.

IoT devices can increase enterprises’ productivity and connectivity; they can even provide valuable big data analytics on consumer behaviors or supply chain processes. However, without mobility management, so many devices connecting to the IT environment can overwhelm your IT department. Further, the IoT presents unique security challenges which you must address as quickly as possible.

Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD)

No Enterprise Mobility Glossary would be complete without mentioning the rise of bring-your-own-device (BYOD) culture taking enterprises by storm.

BYOD refers to employees bringing their personal mobile devices and endpoints to their workplace for their business processes. Doing so offers remarkable benefits.

For example, employees feel more comfortable using their own devices than corporate-issued ones; they don’t have to deal with a learning curve of a separate device. Thus, your employees can take advantage of all their devices’ features, increasing their productivity.

Additionally, BYOD culture saves your enterprise on upkeep and upgrades costs, as your employees foot those bills. Yet without proper mobility management, BYOD can generate many of the same problems as IoT devices: sheer volume issues and security risks.

The Branches of Mobility Management

Now with the foundations of our Enterprise Mobility Management Glossary established, let’s examine the actual branches of the marketplace. Crucially, all of the major branches we describe below manage mobile devices. The question comes down to one of degree.  

MDM

The earliest iteration of these endpoint management tools, MDM has existed for as long as mobile devices. While originally MDM only managed mobile devices, the solutions can now do so much more. Now they can track, manage, and secure devices, usually through individual profiles.

MDM allows enterprises to configure WI-FI access and install and manage enterprise apps. In cases of theft or lost devices, your IT department can use an MDM solution to lock the device or remotely wipe it. Moreover, they can do all of this through normal internet connections, which saves your resources in the long term.   

Mobile Application Management (MAM)

These solutions focus almost exclusively on managing enterprise applications and on the data contained therein. Most importantly, if an employee leaves your enterprise, your IT team can remove the business data it contains effortlessly.

Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM)

From the outside, distinguishing between EMM and MDM proves difficult. It may help to think of them, as fellow writer Tess Hanna put it, in terms of squares and rectangles. Every EMM solution is an MDM solution, but not all MDM solutions are EMM. In other words, MDM operates under the umbrella of EMM.

The principal difference between the two concerns devices and data. MDM concerns itself with the devices, almost exclusively. EMM also manages devices, but their solutions also handle data both on the device and in remote cloud servers. Thus in addition to MDM capabilities, they offer Mobile App Management, Mobile Content Management, and Containerization capabilities.  

As a result, EMM reduces the number of solutions your enterprise needs to manage your mobile users.

Unified Endpoint Management (UEM)

Among the branches described in this Enterprise Mobility Management Glossary, UEM is the newest. As of yet, UEM does not possess a set list of tools or capabilities. Although rising in popularity, it still hasn’t attracted the same attention as EMM or MDM. However, both may only be a matter of time.

UEM allows your enterprise IT to remotely control and manage all endpoints; therefore it combines MDM and EMM and well as more traditional endpoint management solutions. Additionally, UEM solutions can operate across platforms and lockdown hardware and software if necessary.

Enterprises find UEM appealing because it truly allows them to manage all endpoints through a singular solution and interface. Indeed, utilizing a single mobility solution can save your enterprise time and resources in deployment and maintenance. In addition, using a single solution preemptively closes any potential gaps that could arise between different solutions.

Altogether, UEM offers enterprises better mobile security and more cohesive user experiences.

We hope this Enterprise Mobility Management Guide clarifies some of the more confusing aspects of this critical business market. If you would like to learn more, be sure to check out our 2019 Buyer’s Guide. We offer profiles on the top providers in the field and their key capabilities, plus our own Bottom Lines! You can check it out below!

Ben Canner

Ben Canner is an enterprise technology writer and analyst covering Identity Management, SIEM, Endpoint Protection, and Cybersecurity writ large. He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English from Clark University in Worcester, MA. He previously worked as a corporate blogger and ghost writer. You can reach him via Twitter and LinkedIn.