Essential Guide

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Editor's note

For endpoint management, the past was simple; IT typically managed a group of PCs that were designated for the workplace. Then, mobile devices entered the game.

Employees began to use their work devices for personal tasks and personal devices for work purposes, raising the issue of device ownership and making it difficult for IT to retain control. Will IT need to protect employee data if it's viewed on a smartphone? Do company-wide IT policies extend to BYOD devices? Enterprise mobility management (EMM) and mobile device management (MDM) helped to answer those questions -- but because mobile devices and traditional PCs are managed differently, a gap still remained.

Enter unified endpoint management, or UEM, which is available within EMM tools and other endpoint management offerings. UEM software attempts to offer IT pros organization, visibility and control over their end users and devices -- all through a centralized management console.

UEM software can simplify an organization's mobile strategy, but it could also add complexity depending on whether the company uses it correctly. It's important for IT pros to take a high-level approach first and evaluate the pros and cons before using UEM.

Let's take a look at what unified endpoint management is before diving into how to manage it correctly. Then, we'll take a step back to review how the unified endpoint management market has changed, and what's driving it forward.

1What to look for in unified endpoint management

It's true that unified endpoint management has a lot of benefits, but organizations shouldn't blindly jump on the bandwagon without evaluating some crucial factors first. Companies should find the best fit, and then take a long, hard look at their overall IT strategies to see how UEM fits into place.