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The Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) Market

In a business world increasingly reliant on mobile connectivity, developing strong enterprise mobility management (EMM) policies and selecting the right EMM software solutions are a must for modern organizations. 

Enterprises have benefitted in many meaningful ways from the evolution of the mobile technology market — one primary benefit has been connecting employees to company networks from virtually anywhere, at speeds on par with on-premises connections. 

The challenge is protecting vulnerable enterprise networks and employee privacy while complying with various regulatory requirements. EMM provides a framework for building out policies that accomplish each of these goals. EMM software helps enterprises achieve the goals laid out in those policies. 

Choosing the right EMM policies for your specific needs can feel daunting. This guide will walk you through the key features, benefits and potential use cases for the four main EMM software solutions, so you can make confident choices that support your enterprise goals. 

Enterprise mobility management (EMM)

At a high level, we can think of EMM as a policy-level approach for managing how enterprises handle mobile connectivity. Gartner describes EMM as a way for IT leaders to “leverage mobility to better run, grow and transform their organizations” and notes that these leaders are using EMM to “deliver IT support to mobile end users and to maintain security policies.” 

Ideally, IT teams work alongside key management stakeholders to develop policies and select hardware and software that protect enterprise networks, promote organizational goals and enhance the workplace from a human resources perspective. 

There are four primary EMM IT-led software solutions being used by enterprises: mobile device management (MDM); mobile application management (MAM); mobile content management (MCM); and mobile identity management (MIM). 

An employee works on a tablet at home. Courtesy Adobe.

An employee works on a tablet at home. Courtesy Adobe.

Mobile device management (MDM)

IT teams use MDM software to create and implement policies that secure, manage and monitor mobile devices used by employees. These devices can include smartphones, tablets, laptops and Internet of Things (IoT) devices. 

MDM is most often used alongside bring your own device (BYOD) and choose your own device (CYOD) mobile policies, which allow employees to connect their personal devices to enterprise networks. MDM tools improve security and sometimes include features that can help enterprises improve employee productivity. 

Mobile application management (MAM)

MAM software helps enterprises manage mobile app oversight from several angles, including:

  • License management

  • Application distribution

  • Life cycle management

These tools integrate proprietary apps with public app store payment and licensing processes. An example of MAM is Apple’s Volume Purchase Program. MAM allows organizations to set security and usage policies for apps they release into the market and typically support native and HTML 5 apps. Some MAM software can support hybrid app architectures as well. 

Mobile content management (MCM)

MCM software gives enterprises the ability to oversee content as it is accessed and shared from mobile devices connected to the network. These tools allow employees to view necessary content on any enterprise-approved devices, including those allowed under BYOD policies. 

Mobile identity management (MIM)

MIM is a device-agnostic mobile security approach enterprises use to oversee mobile content that goes a step beyond MCM. MIM software focuses on access rights, preventing accidental or purposeful access to the network by unauthorized users. MIM tools effectively lock out unwanted visitors.  

Some vendors, like IBM, use the term identity and access management (IAM) instead of or interchangeably with MIM. 

Elements and features of EMM 

MDM

MDM software is based on the concept of containerization. Containerization is “a form of operating system virtualization, through which applications are run in isolated user spaces called containers, all using the same shared operating system,” according to Citrix. Data is encrypted and processed inside containers so that corporate data is kept separate from personal user data. 

Key MDM features include:

  • Automation and scalability 

  • Automatic device detection

  • Ability to apply over-the-air commands

  • Passcode security features

  • Mobile device tracking and inventory tools

  • Application permission interface

  • IT alerts in response to potential policy breaches

MAM

MAM software can also include containerization tools that isolate apps or groups of apps away from other apps stored on devices. For example, “dual-use” technology allows for two completely separate user interfaces, a work interface and a personal interface, that are both present on a single device but kept apart from one another. 

Software development kits (SDKs) can also be used as part of an MAM approach. Here, developers add additional code to apps during the SDK stage or after during the app-wrapping stage. The code connects apps to back-end MAM software, allowing IT teams to apply and enforce policies on apps as well as taking precautionary steps to secure enterprise data. 

Device-level MAM approaches are built into mobile operating systems. This MAM approach can allow IT teams to control how apps share data with other apps. For example, an admin could prevent users from moving a document received in their enterprise email app and uploading it to their personal storage. 

Common MAM features include:

  • Remote software delivery

  • Software license management

  • Universal app configuration

  • Device inventory management

  • Application life cycle management

MCM

MCM software usually offers one or more of four primary functions:

  • Multi-channel content delivery that allows enterprises to manage a centralized content repository from which they can share content, usually stored in raw format (.docx, .xlx, .PDF and so on)

  • Content access controls, including download permissions, specific user restrictions and time-specific access limitations

  • Templating systems that can deliver multiple versions of content from single domains that are viewable on a variety of devices

  • Location-based content delivery that includes GPS capabilities, giving enterprises location data information that may be relevant to user access permissions

Other typical MCM features include:

  • Collaboration tools

  • Remote updating and wiping capabilities

  • Password protection oversight

  • Data leakage protection (DLP) features

MIM

MIM software uses encryption to protect enterprise and personal data, while preventing unauthorized applications and users from accessing enterprise networks. MIM software uses features such as digital certifications, single sign-on, device enrollment management and authentication oversight. 

Common MIM features include:

  • Regulatory compliance features focused on DLP

  • Third-party integrations that work within existing enterprise software

  • Enterprise digital rights management (EDRM) infrastructure

  • Device-agnostic support

  • Content location search features

  • Multi-factor authentication

  • Secure media capture

  • Searchable data management interface

Benefits 

MDM

MDM software offers several attractive enterprise benefits, including:

  • Time savings: MDM can reduce repetitive IT tasks, such as updating Wi-Fi settings and installing apps

  • Improve efficiency: enterprises can create custom policies aimed at improving workflow efficiency at the mobile device level

  • Productivity increases: MDM allows enterprises to take steps such as blacklisting non-enterprise-approved apps during work hours

  • Regulatory compliance: MDM gives enterprises high-level oversight across connected devices to ensure the organization is meeting compliance standards, such as those regulated in GDPR, CCPA, HIPAA, ISO, CJIS and PCI

  • Enhanced security: IT teams can use MDM to apply security patches and lock down devices that are lost or stolen

MAM

The central benefit of MAM software is that it allows employees to conduct work-related business on their own devices. A strong MAM approach can help save on the costs of a corporate owned, personally enabled (COPE) mobile device policy, where enterprises supply mobile devices to employees. 

By limiting employee work exclusively to enterprise-monitored applications, enterprise networks are less vulnerable to data leakage, loss or theft.  

MCM

MCM software provides several benefits for enterprises, especially those with sprawling, hybrid networks, where some assets reside in the cloud and others are located on-premises:

  • Centralized management of encrypted, secure data through dashboard interfaces

  • Detailed mobile usage monitoring across employee devices

  • Remote file storage within the managed devices of users

  • Mass distribution of corporate files to multiple devices simultaneously

  • Direct content sharing 

MIM

MIM software adds a great deal of assurance for IT teams that enterprise data is only being accessed by those who have permission to view and use it. This additional security layer makes it possible for enterprises to dispatch data into field situations and to remote workers who could be located almost anywhere in the world.

MIM software gives enterprises some peace of mind when it comes to a common unfortunate scenario: misplaced devices. Kensington reports that over 70 million smartphones are lost every year in the U.S. MIM helps to ensure that lost devices can’t be used to access sensitive enterprise data. 

Use cases 

MDM

The primary use case for MDM software relates to secure email and document processing and delivery. These software solutions allow organizations to send documents directly from a centralized repository, eliminating the problems that can occur when, for instance, employees copy and paste emails from one system to another. 

MAM

Enterprises use MAM software for a wide range of applications. MAM software has been used by video game developers to test apps, alongside MDM, and by large-scale companies to distribute proprietary apps to customers. Employers use MAM to shield private data on remote employee devices being used in the course of everyday work as well. 

MCM

MCM software use cases are similar to MAM and include giving remote workers access to enterprise data, customer-facing access to data and safer mobile access to data on BYOD devices. At the heart of both MAM and MCM is the ability to grant safe, private access to enterprise data to only those users who should have access to it. 

MIM

Enterprises typically use MIM across three key areas:

  • Access management — single sign-on and multi-factor authentication features, for example, allow for robust access management oversight and control

  • Identity governance and administration including reporting and auditing capabilities 

  • Consumer identity and access management 

EMM market

The global EMM market is expected to grow from $16.6 billion in 2020 to $63.6 billion by 2026 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 25.1%, according to a recent Markets and Markets report

The report cites contributing factors such as growth in the mobile workforce and an increase in the adoption of BYOD policies among large-scale organizations. 

The EMM market has seen a big impact from the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced enterprises around the globe to shift to work-from-home models. Many enterprises were caught without robust EMM policies in place and will likely make larger investments in EMM software going forward.

Software makers in the EMM market

These are some of the top software makers in each area of EMM: 

MDM

42Gears Mobility Systems, BlackBerry and Citrix. 

MAM

Citrix, IBM and Apperian (Arxan).

MCM

Microsoft, PowerDMS, and Atlassian.

MIM

IBM, Amazon and Oracle.

The EMM investment

Workplace mobility is more than just jargon. 

For enterprises of all sizes, investment into and careful planning related to EMM is a must in the modern, connected workplace, which is no longer confined to on-site workstations. 

In addition to developing clear EMM policies, enterprises would be wise to invest in EMM software solutions such as those outlined in this guide. 

These investments will not only help to protect corporate data, but they will also lay a foundation for the inevitable future expansion of workplace mobility. 

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TAGS:

Enterprise Mobility Management, EMM