An Introduction to Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM)

Sophie Danby September 1, 2023
- 7 min read

Enterprise Mobility Management or EMM is a holistic set of practices and technology oriented to help you improve your management of mobile devices, the applications, and the data they enable and enforce your information security policies. Done well, it can help you keep track of phones and tablets, and keep your data protected. 

It's ever more frequent for businesses to carry out their normal tasks on these types of devices, so incorporating their specific requirements to your IT Asset Management strategy has become crucial to stay up to date. 

Here, we will explore EMM’s full area of command, some of its key processes, and how it can benefit organizations that implement it. 

Ready to learn more? Let's make a start.

What is Enterprise Mobility Management?

Enterprise Mobility Management is a comprehensive set of tools, policies, and processes designed to manage an organization's mobile devices, applications, data, and information. It takes the baseline established by Mobile Device Management (MDM) and expands on it. 

Where MDM focuses on hardware, the scope of EMM includes Device Management, Application Management, Content Management, and security measures to manage mobile agility at an enterprise level. 

Its main goals are integrating mobile IT into work processes and objectives and supporting colleagues when using these devices in the workplace. 

10 benefits of EMM

EMM offers many benefits for organizations that have embraced mobile device and application management. Some of the critical benefits of EMM include:

  1. Increased visibility - It enables organizations to manage, support, and control mobile devices, their applications, and data via a single platform. This makes it easy for service desk and support technicians to effectively and efficiently manage the mobile device estate.
  2. Enhanced security - EMM solutions enable IT departments to implement information security policies to protect proprietary data on company devices. 
  3. Policy Management - EMM solutions help IT teams to implement IT security policies and compliance requirements across devices and applications. IT administrators can define and enforce rules for device configuration, app usage, and data access, using a policy engine to set and implement policies and other security directives.
  4. Data protection and privacy - EMM enables organizations to separate corporate and personal data on devices through containerization. This helps end users differentiate between personal and corporate data and ensures that business data is secure while protecting any personal data on the device.
  5. More flexibility and choice for end users - EMM tools enable mobile device access to corporate resources and applications. This can include BYOD so end users can access corporate data on a device of their choosing in a secure way,
  6. Cost savings - EMM helps organizations optimize mobile device and application usage, reduce the risk of security incidents, and minimize the costs associated with lost or stolen devices.
  7. Remote support and troubleshooting - EMM solutions enable service desks and support teams to remotely manage and troubleshoot issues on end-user devices without having them make a special trip to the office to visit the service desk. 
  8. Enhanced Governance, Risk, and Compliance (GRC) - EMM provides tools to monitor and report device compliance with security policies and regulatory requirements, helping organizations maintain industry standards and avoid penalties.
  9. Geolocation and tracking - Some EMM solutions offer geolocation and tracking features, allowing organizations to locate lost or stolen devices and implement location-based security policies.
  10. A leaner app management process - EMM enables organizations to distribute, update, and manage mobile applications efficiently, ensuring that all employees have access to the latest versions and relevant apps.

Enterprise Mobility Management components

EMM typically includes the following key components:

  • Mobile Device Management (MDM)
  • Mobile Application Management (MAM)
  • Mobile Content Management (MCM)
  • Mobile Identity & Access Management (IAM)
  • Mobile Security Management (MSM)
  • Mobile Information Management (MIM)
  • Mobile Expense Management (MEM)

Let's have a look at each one in more detail.

Mobile Device Management (MDM)

As we mentioned above, MDM particularly focuses on mobile device hardware. Its main objective is to manage and secure mobile devices within the organization. It enables support teams to remotely configure devices, enforce security policies, and monitor status and usage.  

Mobile Application Management (MAM)

MAM is concerned with mobile device applications and software. Its focus is to ensure the mobile applications used by colleagues are appropriately managed and have the appropriate level of security in place. MAM allows IT departments to install, update and support mobile applications.  

Mobile Content Management (MCM)

MCM looks after the data and information stored on corporate devices. It manages and secures corporate data and content accessed on mobile devices.

MCM technology typically offers data encryption, secure file sharing, and access control functionality to protect your data. It also allows you to push content to devices and protect data at the file level. Many MCM services also work with cloud storage products to authorize access and content for each user.

Mobile Identity and Access Management (IAM)

IAM focuses on managing user identities and controlling their access to corporate devices and applications. Only authorized users are able to access corporate data and services, protecting them from inappropriate or unauthorized usage.

It is concerned with authentication and sign-on, including authentication, certificates, code signatures, and single sign-on to ensure that only authorized users, trusted devices, and authorized apps can access and interact with company information.

Mobile Security Management (MSM)

MSM looks after the security of mobile devices, applications, and content. MSM solutions include various security features, such as data loss prevention, encryption, and remote wipe capabilities.

Mobile Information Management (MIM)

MIM is responsible for remote access to databases from mobile devices. MIM services often integrate with cloud storage and collaboration services.

Mobile Expense Management (MEM)

MEM manages mobile communication expenses and delivers management reports and insights regarding device usage and services consumed by the organization. 

Enterprise Mobility Management strategy

Implementing an Enterprise Mobility Management strategy involves several key steps to ensure a successful outcome. Ask any IT technician what one of the trickiest aspects of the job is, and they will say wrangling devices and apps so it's something that can add real value. 

To make an impact, planning is everything, so here are some steps you should consider when creating an EMM strategy:  

  • Make a plan - Define your goals and objectives for implementing EMM, such as improving security, enhancing productivity, and enabling remote work.
  • Create a baseline - Take a snapshot of your current mobile device ecosystem to understand the scale of the infrastructure and the types of policies that will be needed.
  • Understand the marketplace - Define the EMM features and functionalities that align with your organization's needs.
  • Select a vendor - Research and evaluate different EMM vendors and solutions based on your requirements, mobile estate setup, and budget. Designing an RFP can come in handy at this point to fairly compare your options. 
  • Define your policies and procedures - Make sure you have your policies, procedures, and work instructions created, reviewed, and published before implementing your toolset, so you have a solid foundation. If you're starting from scratch, see if you have any existing information security or acceptable usage policies you can build on so you're not duplicating or conflicting with current policies.
  • Train users - Ensure you create materials (creating knowledge base articles in your service desk is a great option) and training sessions so everyone understands how to use their mobile devices when installing the EMM service.
  • Conduct a test phase - Consider having a pilot group test the solution first so you can create a database of FAQs and capture any "gotchas"!
  • Define a device enrolment scheme - Define a process for enrolling and onboarding devices onto the EMM platform so that the service is deployed correctly and users have a consistent experience.
  • Guarantee BAU support - Ensure your knowledge base is updated with how to support the solution and contact details for the supplier should any incidents or requests need to be escalated to third-line support.
  • Foster continual improvement - Monitor industry trends so you can build improvements and new features into your EMM offering over time.

To sum up

Enterprise Mobility Management takes the principles established by Mobile Device Management  and builds on them to include Application and Content Management provisions. 

This approach is an end-to-end methodology for managing your mobile device state, applications, and corporate data and, as such, supports the overall management of your IT state. Advantages of implementing EMM include more consistent support experience, reduced risk, and cost savings across organizations.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the three primary types of Enterprise Mobility Management? 

MDM, MAM, and MCM so that your devices, applications, and content are managed, controlled, and protected in line with your organization's information security policies.

What is an example of enterprise mobility? 

Enterprise mobility is the practice of carrying out normal business tasks on a mobile device. Some examples of it include using apps to submit expense claims, raise an incident with your service desk or use self-service to manage admin tasks.

What is the role of EMM? 

The role of EMM is to ensure that your people and data are protected while making it easy for colleagues to access corporate information on a convenient device.

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