UEM tackles remote work: ‘2020 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Unified Endpoint Management Tools’

As summer winds down, unified endpoint management (UEM) is starting to heat up. Gartner just introduced the 2020 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Unified Endpoint Management, the newest (and third) edition of its annual research report. Per our understanding, the 2019 edition focused on, among other things, the evolution of mobile device management (MDM) and enterprise mobility management (EMM) to UEM, as well as the emergence of the need for modern management to accommodate PCs and laptops. We still see these trends as customer maturity grows, but it’s impossible to ignore the implications of the massive switch to remote work and working from home.

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Bring your own device (BYOD) programs have been accelerated and enhanced to provide management for an influx of personal devices used for work. A large roster of employees are accessing work applications and content from home for the first time. At the same time, cyber criminals took advantage of massive change and launched an even greater number of phishing attacks and tactics. Data usage became an issue as the collaborative app usage outside the corporate network skyrocketed. Secure containers — encrypted sandboxes for data leakage prevention (DLP) installed on an end user device — are vital for mobile threat defense (MTD) to thwart an increased attack surface.

Modern management and migration from CMTs became even more critical as bring your own PC (BYOPC) became a necessity for stay at home workers. The amount of unmanaged devices — one without an endpoint manager or device profile — needed to be accounted for to protect the enterprise and the end user. The need for a single endpoint manager to handle this complexity has never been greater.

In fact, Gartner predicts “by 2024, more than half of organizations will consolidate to a single console for endpoint management and security tasks, up from less than 5% in 2020.”

User-Centric Unified Endpoint Management Takes the Stage

Endpoints provide the apps and interfaces employees use to get their work done and stay connected — but focusing on them too much is a limited management approach. The volume and variety of devices a user might employ to do their job drives the need to evolve. This need changes from a device-centric methodology to a user-centric model that takes a harder look at risk and employee experience. Major technology vendors are enabling this through OS updates that make it possible to intuitively push enrollment and self-service to users without jeopardizing security and control. So how does this compare with Gartner’s definition of UE in 2020?

As always, Gartner evaluated vendors against a strict set of criteria. For this report, it was determined that modern UEM tools must:

  • “Provide a user-centric view of devices across device platforms.
  • Enable modern PC management through native Windows 10, macOS and Chrome OS controls.
  • Enable MDM through native iOS and Android controls.
  • Aggregate analytics and telemetry from users, apps and devices to help inform policy and related actions.
  • Provide insights into user experience through aggregation of telemetry signals, events, logs and synthetic transactions.
  • Integrate with unified endpoint security (UES) tools to support security policy management, execute administrative actions and improve integration with identity and access management (IAM) tools.”

Modern Endpoint Management Comes of Age

Modern endpoint management and client management tool migration were in progress before the pandemic — especially with Windows 7 installs closing in on zero. However, the sudden shift to remote work exacerbated some challenges and opened up opportunities for faster UEM adoption.

Gartner notes, “The pandemic highlighted critical flaws in traditional client management tools as device provisioning, deployment, patching and management failed to scale and support remote clients. Many were ill-prepared to handle the number of devices connected and the volume of data being transmitted over VPN.”

With the likelihood of remote work continuing to be necessary (and in many cases more popular than traditional work environments), there is some good news. Information technology (IT) organizations and vendors have been able to respond and scale quickly to meet immediate demand and be better prepared moving forward.

UEM Integrations Set Vendors Apart

In addition to the criteria focused on modern management and user-centricity, we believe Gartner identified additional characteristics for magic quadrant leaders in the UEM market. With PCs and nontraditional devices such as Internet of things (IoT) adding volume and complexity to the device environment, a robust set of management functions — e.g., deployment, provisioning, patching and updating — must be available across all endpoints. 

The expanded endpoint environment and its inherent complexity can push IT administrators and security teams to the brink. Analytics are required to simplify operations, ensure compliance and identify risks before they can be exploited. Integration with enterprise solutions such as identity as a service (IDaaS) and security information and event management (SIEM) systems strengthen the overall security posture and leverage existing investments. Of course, all of this needs to be done while removing friction from the end user experience.

IBM Named a 2020 Magic Quadrant Leader in Unified Endpoint Management

For the third consecutive year, IBM was named a leader in the 2020 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Unified Endpoint Management for its ability to execute and completeness of vision.

With mobile threat defense (MTD), artificial intelligence (AI) insights, out-of-the-box single sign-on (SSO), multi-factor and passwordless authentication and conditional access, Mass360 provides the robust risk management posture organizations need without disrupting employee productivity. Reliable zero-day operating system support continues to be a hallmark of the product’s readiness so customers can confidently roll out deployments on their timelines. 

To improve the efficiency and effectiveness of administrators, MaaS360 uses AI and analytics from Watson that reveal real-time risk and opportunity insights specific to a customer’s deployed devices, apps and operating systems. A voice-enabled AI Assistant allows end users to quickly address support issues and app questions. It even assists with scheduling meetings, searching through email and other tasks.

We’ve seen customers consistently cite MaaS360’s ease of use and simplicity when it comes to deployment and configuration. Wizards and templates speed up the process and improve accuracy while clean dashboards help administrators keep track of the deployment and troubleshoot in real time.

MaaS360 co-exists with an enterprise’s existing CMT solution and builds the bridge to a single-console approach. To do this, it brings out-of-the-box CMT capabilities, modern API-based management and Windows10 patch management and audit features.

We believe that IBM is driving the evolution of user-centric UEM with the introduction of user risk management — a modeling and enforcement tool that continuously evaluates the relative risk of all employees and devices within a given organization. This approach is essential to bringing zero trust to UEM while providing the best possible user experience.

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Gartner, Magic Quadrant for Unified Endpoint Management Tools, 10 August 2020, Dan Wilson, Rich Doheny, Rob Smith, Chris Silva, Manjunath Bhat

Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, express or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.


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