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Identity Management, Endpoint Security, Mobile Device Management and Access Management are typically considered to be isolated disciplines. This can make administration and governance in these areas complex. Having a holistic approach for the administration and supervision of all types of users, end user software and devices can foster efficiency, agility and security in many organizations.

Commissioned by VMware

1 Introduction

Agility and efficiency are key aspects for organisations in the digital transformation. Enabling the right people to access the right resources is a key challenge for achieving agility and efficiency. This involves making sure the right tools are available, in the right place, for the right people. In today’s highly computerized working environment, this means providing the right software to the end user device of choice, to the correct identities and with suitable access privileges.

There are many aspects which need to be considered when designing a solution to meet the challenges of unified management. An increasing number of different user groups, including employees, partners and customers, all of which deploy an increasing number of end user devices. Software originates from the various operating system platforms and GUI paradigms for example: standard desktops, mobile devices with their various operating systems, virtualized infrastructures and cloud applications. This all needs to be available on the device at hand for the individual user. Each user must be reliably identified and have accurate, well-defined access rights. Alongside identification, it is important to take into consideration their context, this includes their location, device, time of day or the overall criticality of a transaction. This also involves implementing and enforcing reliable mechanisms for strong authentication and cross-platform single-sign on (SSO).

With even more devices requiring access, the identification of identities and devices must be considered when executing this complex task. Depending on each individual case, a solution needs to fulfil a wide range of fundamental requirements. User experience is an important factor when it comes to end user satisfaction, as well as the users’ willingness to adopt a system. Legal and regulatory requirements must to be met, along with the ability to audit and trace each transaction with the adequate evidence required to meet compliance and governance standards. The administrative management processes of such a solution needs to be as efficient as possible. It must be designed in a way so that it can easily adapt to continuously changing processes and business requirements.

Many organisations have not yet focused on developing a broader vision for implementing a holistic approach to meet today’s challenges of agility, efficiency and security. Instead they manage different aspects of this solution in different technical systems and through dedicated, individual teams. The combination of previously disjoint system management disciplines leads to a method of delivering applications to the end user that can substantially increase efficiency in the overall operation of an organization.

VMware have recently revealed their approach towards implementing such a solution framework. Workspace ONE aims at delivering all required application software independent of their individual ecosystem, to every end user device. It is based on strong authentication, reliable identities and fine-grained access policies. This method takes Unified Endpoint Management to a new level by leveraging the power of Software-Defined Networks.

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