Endpoint Management is a market category that runs under various names, such as Client Lifecycle Management, Enterprise Mobility Management, Unified Endpoint Management, and others. However, we see a clear trend toward comprehensive solutions supporting a variety of capabilities and types of endpoints. Thus, this Leadership Compass focuses on what is commonly referred to as Unified Endpoint Management. In this context, endpoints can be defined as traditional desktop or laptop computers, smartphones, tablets, wearables, printers, Point of Sale Kiosks, Internet of Things (IoT) devices, and even Virtual Reality (VR) headsets.
What is sometimes called client or service management involves capabilities such as OS deployment, software distribution, patch management, monitoring, and remote-control tools to support administration or to help automate other support functions that are typically executed manually. This type of management is also used to manage endpoint lifecycle, such as with UEM application management. Client management is a market segment in transition, as Unified Endpoint Management and Workspace Management have become the two major trends in client management.
Although all delivery models are looked at, it is worth considering the pros and cons of each delivery model. For instance, it is good to be aware that public cloud solutions are generally multi-tenant in most cases, while some cloud services are single tenant. Other approaches use container-based deployments to deliver a vendor’s cloud-hosted or on-premises solution consistently. Ultimately, selecting a suitable Unified Endpoint Management solution delivery model will depend on the customer requirements and use cases.
The trend in recent years is the deprecation of classic client management, which usually focuses on Windows systems and the sole management of mobile endpoint devices (EMM, Enterprise Mobility Management). Most of the leading endpoint management providers today are focusing on Unified Endpoint Management. UEM solutions encompass the management of a wide range of endpoint device types and various operating systems such as Windows, macOS, Linux, or Chrome, as well as mobile endpoint devices with Android or iOS as the operating systems.
The range of functions such solutions offer goes far beyond classic client management. It also includes the provisioning of configured work environments for employees, inventory, and management of the operating system and applications, but also the management of content on end devices, for example, the separation of personal and business apps and data.
Patch management, which in the past was offered more often as a separate product category, is now an integral part of UEM solutions. Also, Endpoint security capabilities can be included in UEM solutions, which sometimes intersect with other Endpoint Detection & Response (EDR) products. More information on this topic can be found in the KuppingerCole Buyer's Compass: Endpoint Detection & Response (EDR).
The shift toward a Work-From-Anywhere (WFA) workforce has increased the importance of monitoring user interactions with their digital workplace to improve the employee experience. Organizations can proactively discover and remediate issues to reduce user friction and improve their overall experience by monitoring user interactions with their device, applications, and other services. This also has the added benefit of reducing the load on the IT help desk. Solutions to address this exist in different markets, such as Digital Employee Experience (DEX), End-User Experience Management (EUEM), and Digital Experience Monitoring (DEM).