Need For Unified Management Layers For All Endpoint Devices

by Somak Shome, AVP - IT & Information Security Officer, , Srei Infrastructure Finance

Business demand is driving IT to roll out mobility for the salesforce, collection team, senior executives and others. So while the company is equipping them with mobile devices like tablets and smartphones, IT is asked to provide a secure solution for accessing corporate resources through these devices.

At this juncture, the classical MDM solutions available in the market fit the bill perfectly. With standard features like containerisation, data encryption, over-the-air application provisioning and also SaaS model available, MDM has come of age. But we must keep in mind that these are going to be our endpoints for the future, as the organisation will expand the scope of mobility to other departments, and BYOD is not going to be avoidable any more. So, in the not too distant future, we shall have the desktop and  laptops, and mobile devices both coexisting in the same ecosystem and IT will have to support all of them as regular endpoints.

In such scenario, IT has to manage the endpoint management software already installed on the desktop/laptop, and the new MDM solution on the mobile devices. The big question is - Will not it be good to have one single solution that covers both devices and performs all the functionality needed? Are such solutions available in the market now? How much does it cost? Will the cost be justified, given that my immediate requirement is secure mobility?

Eventually, mobile management will cease to be a separate thing in the enterprise IT world, much in the same way that wireless LANs became just another piece of the network management infrastructure.

While mobile is currently handled as a separate ecosystem from desktops and laptops, as it becomes a core IT function the worlds are starting to converge. Some MDM products already let you manage all mobile and desktop device types from a single management console, and more OEMs must rise to this occasion. A single pane of glass, or unified management layer, is a distinct advantage for administrators, but it is also easier for the end user if they have one self-service place to go for all of their endpoint devices.

So while with some MDM solution you can manage software distribution, patch management and few more on desktop/laptops, the endpoint management solutions available now do not have exhaustive MDM capabilities. It is indeed a dilemma, whose solution can be provided through integrated, new products.