Enterprise mobility management (EMM) is a set of services and technologies designed to secure corporate data on employees’ mobile devices. It generally consists of a suite of: 1) mobile management systems and services that protect intellectual property, 2) specific processes that ensure the security of data, and 3) systems that integrate with a wide range of enterprise IT systems for better central control.
The EMM market emerged in large part due to the rise of bring-your-own-device (BYOD) programs after the arrival of the first iPhone in 2007. As more businesses embraced flexible policies, they turned to EMM to overcome the security risk of employees using their own devices.
But interestingly, the BYOD trend, while well-established, is waning (5% this year according to Forrester Research), and as a result EMM has evolved to become less about mobile device management and more about a comprehensive framework of tools for mobility management integrated under high-level IT. Put more simply, EMM is what companies are using to ensure they benefit from an increasing mobile workforce, rather than having it be a source of additional risk and costs.
Determining the best type of EMM system for your organisation depends on the specifics of your mobile needs. For example, some companies may want to lock down employee devices completely, allowing them to be wiped if the device goes missing. Other companies may want to focus on securing certain apps, or just data. Crucially however is understanding what the different EMM terminology means. Below, our IT experts define the key terms to help you make sense of this important, but quickly changing landscape.
Mobile Device Management (MDM)
MDM is an underlying technology that remotely manages the lifecycle of mobile devices and their respective platforms. MDM usually involves the installation of unique profiles on mobile devices. These profiles give organisations the ability to remotely control, encrypt and enforce policies on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. They can for instance, be used to wipe a device of all apps and data if it is lost or stolen.
Mobile Application Management (MAM)
MAM tools allow organisations to manage mobile applications instead of hardware. MAM covers the deployment and updating of mobile apps, including administrative push support and app license management. MAM also enables organisations to apply security policies to these apps and selectively remove them (including any associated data) from a specific device. Thus corporate information can be protected without having to wipe a device entirely. This kind of approach has gained popularity as more workers bring in their own devices to the workplace.
Mobile Identity Management (MIM)
The primary objective of MIM is to ensure that only trusted devices and users can access enterprise data or applications. MIM solutions address a range of security related issues, such as user and device certificates, authentication and transaction signing.
Mobile Content Management (MCM)
MCM is a type content management system (CMS) that enables professionals to access secure business information on their mobile devices. MCM has 4 key purposes: content security, content access, content push and file-level protection. MCM can also enforce authentication policies. Most MCM platforms integrate directly with enterprise services from Microsoft, Box, Google and others to authorise access files / data on a per-person basis.
Mobile Expense Management (MEM)
Designed to help businesses control costs and keep tabs on mobile communications expenses, MEM services provide insights into device and service usage, procurement of devices and other policies like BYOD stipends. MEM can also enforce corporate policies.