Windows 10 & Enterprise Mobility Management
Business people are managing communications via mobile devices more than ever before. With ongoing advances in technology, it’s reasonable for them to expect to access work email and company data seamlessly from any location using multiple devices. With many employees adopting a BYOD (bring your own device) in the workplace, Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) has become important for integrating smartphones and tablets securely with corporate systems.
The introduction of unified endpoint management (UEM) and the wider policy options now available for Windows 10 and Mac OS allows administration of all company devices across a range of platforms using a single Enterprise Mobility Management tool. Administrators can move away from the complex and costly legacy management – the world of imaging and GPO’s (Group Policy Objects) – to a cheaper and simplified cloud and mobility focused management approach.
Devices can be easily provisioned into EMM without IT’s involvement and be placed under management without a costly imaging process, while also having the ability to add or remove apps, manage firmware settings, and push required profiles (like email, Wi-Fi and VPN) and policies to devices over-the-air. In theory, this makes it easier to secure the devices and safeguard sensitive information.
Windows 10 has regular feature upgrades that go beyond security and bug fixes allowing companies to stay on top of potential threats to their networks and data. Enterprise Mobility Management integrates with existing Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) and the new Windows Update for Business service to allow for the deployment or deferment of OS updates and patches based on device priority, sensitivity and desired maintenance windows.
While regular upgrades are primarily a benefit, they can also be viewed as a disadvantage in some respects. The frequency of updates makes it difficult to coordinate the Windows 10 versions used in the corporate environment. Encouraging users to become self-managing and responsible for updating their OS and applications is recommended.
Rolling out Windows 10 updates to multiple PCs across several locations takes a large amount of network bandwidth, which not all corporate networks are able to cope with but the traditional options like peer-to-peer distribution that reduces traffic are still an option when integrating EMM with WSUS.
Another drawback is that some management can’t be done without physical access but this is nothing new for mobile devices. When companies migrate completely to EMM for all end point management purposes, they will need to convert and leverage their mobile device support and repair processes for all endpoints.
In May 2017 Microsoft claimed 500 million devices are running Windows 10, and this number is set to increase as the 2020 date to end support for Win7 approaches. It doesn’t end with PCs and smartphones, however; the explosion of the Internet of Things (IoT) means there’s going to be a whole lot more devices that need to be updated and managed to keep them secure, and doing it over the air is the only way that’s feasible. With the number of IoT devices expected to hit 16 billion by 2021, unified endpoint management solutions are going to be essential.
Then, of course, there’s artificial intelligence (AI), which is going to be a prime target for hackers. The nature of many AI devices will mean over the air management is critical.
Perhaps the development of intelligent apps is the answer. These apps could be engineered to download updates at optimal times, adapt them for the device model and version, and run and configure them without human intervention. Would that have the power to transform the landscape forever?
Find out more about Mobile Mentor’s Mobility Management Services