EMM Providers Face Game-Changing Challenges in 2017

Jan 04, 2017

The North American Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) market continues to be in a constant state of flux, with 2017 presenting the sector’s newest round of challenge and opportunity.

EMM is a fast-moving market.  It has to be, in order to keep up with expanding business needs.  The category originated as a simple mobile device management (MDM) solution; then evolved into a full EMM suite that also includes managing and securing mobile apps (MAM), mobile content (MCM) and mobile identity.  It’s now transitioning into an expansive unified endpoint management (EUM) experience that moves beyond mobile-only to also oversee desktop computers and select Internet of Things (IoT) devices. 

Inherent in this transformation from managing devices to apps to content to desktops to IoT are a number of serious challenges – for both the EMM providers and for the customers they serve.  Beyond the technological advances that must be achieved, a few of the issues to be addressed this year include:

  • Optimizing the user experience – Workers and administrators expect EMM/UEM solutions to make their jobs easier, not to impose security safeguards that slow down productivity or narrow their application, device, and/or content choice.
  • Delivering from the cloud – Premise-based EMM/UEM solutions may offer the advantage of increased security and scalability; however, a significant proportion of today’s EMM non-users point to adoption barriers that cloud-based platforms can directly neutralize.
  • Integrating predictive analytics into the feature set – EMM/UEM platforms can leverage a tremendous amount of data regarding the devices, apps and content they manage. As artificial intelligence capabilities become more common in the consumer space, they also are becoming more expected in the business sphere.
  • Tapping new markets – Chief vertical targets have traditionally been regulated industries that operate under tight security and privacy regulations.  With every EMM/UEM vendor competing for business from financial services, health care, and government verticals, innovators should consider adapting their solutions to appeal to additional new markets.
  • Folding in IoT device management – The enormity of the Internet of Things phenomenon puts the pressure on EMM/UEM providers to incorporate IoT device security and management. Not a simple task.
  • Incenting PC Management and Mobility Management to play nice – Adding desktop computer management to the EMM platform can surface tensions within today’s IT organization, pitting the computer management department against those personnel responsible for mobility management. Shaping these two groups into a cohesive UEM unit will be an ongoing management challenge for today’s large business customer.

In addition to all of the strategic steps listed above, EMM/UEM providers must keep up with the day-to-day technical responsibilities of anticipating and quickly supporting every new OS release that hits the marketplace. 

2017 promises to be a full year.

 More of our thinking around the EMM/UEM sector and potential growth opportunities can be found in the Frost & Sullivan study, “The North American Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) Market – Managing and Securing Today’s Explosion of Data and Devices,” 9ABE-65, December 2016 at www.frost.com.

Jeanine Sterling


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