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Blog June 02, 2016

Enterprise Mobility Management – why should I use it?

MDM, EMM, MAM, MAC – there are a lot of abbreviations flying around the mobile IT area these days. They all relate to enabling users to become more mobile, and to use a wider array of devices than what we are normally used to in the IT industry.

But what is what? If people talked about MDM a few years ago, and EMM today, what is the big difference? First and foremost, most leading MDM tools have evolved into more complicated solutions, making the line between MDM and EMM very unclear. Different vendors will have their own story about what is best for you, and they all have good points to make.

But in what way can productivity actually increase by introducing these kind of tools? And how do I get started?

All these solutions are basically there for one reason – to enable users in being productive while at the same time more flexible in their choice of location and devices. The staff of modern companies’ demand more and more flexibility, and they get more and more individual in their choices of what tools to use. An attractive employer need to meet these demands and instead of controlling whether an employee should use a Mac, a PC, an iPad or an Android device, they should enable their staff to use what they prefer.

A lot of MDM (Mobile Device Management) implementations started as a reaction to this demand of new ways to work more mobile, and to some extent a curiosity of new types of devices. Instead of finding out what tools and information the users actually needed to become more productive and mobile, corporations simply decided the best way forward was to take control of devices and to some extent data transmission. Say hello to MDM!

MDM is an excellent way to take control of devices, and make sure they can connect to the datacenter in secure way. For a lot of companies that was, and still is just the right solution.

However, other companies might have a different view of things – they have changed their thinking into an information focused point of view. Should it really matter on what device the user consumes his or her information? Perhaps it’s more important to secure the data instead of the device? Or perhaps a combination of the two?

This is where EMM comes in. Enterprise Mobility Management is more focused on the whole picture, and in information in particular, than a traditional MDM solution. Sure, MDM can still be an important component in an EMM solution, but it’s only just that: a part of something bigger.

Entering the EMM era is more of a mindset than a technical leap. It is all about enabling your staff to work in different ways than how most companies have done things traditionally. For some companies can be a quantum leap to allow their staff to work on a tablet or mobile phone (and from just about anywhere), and for other companies it is not a big deal. For most companies though it is just as much about their policies as it is about technology, and before you start implementing tools you need to make sure your business is ready.

So where should you start? As you probably have guessed by now it all depends. It depends on your company’s policies. It depends on your staff’s IT maturity. It depends on what tools you want to use. It depends on your budget. It depends on a lot.

A good place to start is to find out how you as a company want your users to behave. If you want your staff to become more mobile and versatile you need to enable them with the right policies and the right tools. It is all part of a puzzle where you need to dedicate yourself to find out in what way your staff can become more productive on different platforms than their PC’s or Macs. You can focus on what tools you want your users to use or on what information the users should be able to consume. Even what device types the users can use can be interesting to discuss. All are relevant questions, but unless you have clear understanding of your goals are it will be difficult to get good answers.

The best advice I have is to get help from someone independent and knowledgeable. All suppliers of technology have their pros and cons, and a different story. A good advisor can help you navigate through that jungle, and quickly get down to what is important: How to make your business better!

Jens Samuelsson

Jens Samuelsson
Enterprise Architect