Modern Management is the method of managing devices, OS, and applications, in a unified, secure way natively from the cloud. Modern management can be considered an evolution of unified endpoint management (UEM), and provides improved security, management, and situational awareness to IT departments for users and applications across the enterprise.
The goals of embracing modern management processes also include providing an improved user experience regardless of how users are connected – whether on-premises, remotely, or through the use of SaaS applications. This delivers a consistent experience for all users anywhere, at any time, from any device.
The concept of IT management has undergone a radical metamorphosis over the past several decades. Computing has changed from mainframes that utilized bulky, stationary CRT monitor-and keyboard terminals to hybrid, multi-cloud infrastructure accessed by a seemingly limitless array of endpoint devices, many of which fit in a user’s pocket.
Early IT management revolved around troubleshooting physical mainframe and minicomputer (i.e., server) issues, with the emergence of the personal computer adding PC break/fix and install/move/change responsibilities to the IT support organizations. Remote access was a complicated affair involving terminals or PCs equipped with terminal emulation adapters, and speeds were typically limited to 9600 bits per second. Virtually all users were locally attached to on-premises infrastructure.
As laptops and tablets gained acceptance and broadband became widely available, mobility gained popularity and enterprise mobility management (EMM) to support a mobile workforce became a critical responsibility for IT organizations. The business disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic rapidly accelerated the shift away from managing devices only on-premises / on-network, creating new IT security and management challenges as IT realized it must combine EMM with other client management tools (CMTs). Unified endpoint management (UEM) gives IT teams the ability to manage all end user devices from a single console regardless of the location of either IT or end users.
The increasing complexity created by supporting an ever-growing list of applications and endpoint devices has driven IT to go beyond UEM to enable deployment, management, control, auditing, support, and security of any user, device, or application – without the need to configure each instance – from a single console. This combination of capabilities that marries management, security, and support capabilities has been named modern management.
The ever-growing number of devices and applications puts an onerous burden on IT, who need to manage traditional desktops and servers while supporting Android, iOS, Linux, Mac, and Windows devices ranging from laptops to smartphones to wearables and kiosks.
Business application management must similarly cover a broad range of applications from traditional enterprise to single-function smartphone applications that can streamline a given user task. The process of packaging, delivering, and patching applications can be time intensive and open organizations up to security risk. In addition to securing applications, securing a widespread user base – including employees, contractors, partners, and customers – can be a complex endeavor, especially when all users require varying levels of access to different types of information.
Modern management brings together the various elements of management and security to control all devices, applications, and users from a single pane of glass.
There are four major benefits of adopting a modern management approach, which benefit users and sysadmins:
Reduced IT Burden: Modern tools enable many routine IT functions to be automated so that only exception handling requires direct IT intervention. Taking automation, a step further, leaders in modern management provide the ability to orchestrate entire IT workflows. Cloud-native self-service tools help end users and IT by further reducing the need for IT to initiate tickets or reset passwords.
Robust Security: Having a single pane of glass to monitor and manage multiple security functions simplifies and strengthens security enterprise-wide. Admins can manage patches, allowlist/denylist, zero-trust network access (ZTNA), and email security all from a single console. Additionally, provisioning users, devices, and applications from a single console enables IT professionals to manage all endpoints efficiently.
Supports Enterprise Modernization: An increasingly distributed workforce that utilizes a broad range of devices presents many challenges, such as delivering a modern, user experience, access to legacy and mobile applications from anywhere, and, of course, security. Modern management enables a consistent experience for both the users and the IT teams that are responsible for managing, supporting, and deploying users and applications.
Consumer-like Consistent User Experience (UX): Thanks to the gamification and consumerization of IT, users now expect the same kind of experience for enterprise applications that they enjoy with their mobile phones and games. Modern management helps accelerate everything from application launch time to what the user sees on their screen, regardless of device or connectivity.
Security: Mobile devices are inherently less secure than on-premises equipment protected by a hardened network perimeter. Lost or stolen devices can present major exfiltration opportunities for bad actors. Patching and managing devices on an MDM network is extremely difficult to maintain and cybersecurity attacks on mobile devices have been accelerating.
Bring your own device (BYOD): The number of personal devices used for enterprise access continues to increase, with many users relying on multiple personal devices – smartphones, tablets, and laptops – over the course of a single day. MDM is not a magic bullet for solving BYOD access and security policies as many MDM systems do not distinguish between company-owned and employee-owned devices. BYOD can also present compliance issues and users can bypass enterprise password management tools, rendering devices ripe for data loss.
Network access control: Although the number of devices attaching to the network continues to grow, the need to limit each user and device to only the data and applications they need is critical. Enterprises need to implement ZTNA and ensure that the principle of least privilege is applied to limit access rather than granting broad access based simply on department or role.
Heterogeneous device management: As enterprises evolve from primarily Windows and MacOS to an environment that supports iOS, Android, and other Linux variants, MDM solutions may be inadequate for the challenge of supporting so many different platforms simultaneously. Many organizations have had to procure multiple MDM offerings to cover the growing range of devices and OSs on the network.
End-user experience: Users expect a consistent experience regardless of device, connectivity, or location. Users require easy access to the applications required to get their job done and MDM can impact the ease of access leading to a decrease in overall employee satisfaction.
Mobile application management: With the app store just a click away, many users download either unauthorized or malicious applications that can create an attack vector for cybercriminals. Many MDM systems are ineffective at blocklisting any non-essential application.
Related Solutions and Products
Enable cloud-native, modern management to simplify IT operations, secure endpoints and enhance the employee experience from all devices, including Windows 10 and Windows 11.
Workspace ONE enables cloud native modern management to automate IT operations, harden security, and deliver ready-to-work experiences across every Windows 10 and Windows 11 device—whether on or off the company network.