From MDM to UEM in a decade: What we’ve learned about enterprise mobile management

In 2010, Apple launched its platform for iOS device management, a move that put third-party vendors at the heart of the enterprise mobility management (EMM) industry. A lot has happened during the years since, including the BYOD craze, new app development and deployment models, Android Enterprise, the failure of Microsoft’s mobile device platform, and a pandemic that turned everything about work on its head.

As we inch back to a more normal work experience, it seems like a good time to reflect on how enterprise mobility has enabled workers in every industry, how IT has managed mobility, how companies have leveraged mobile platforms to transform the way we work, and how mobile has changed our very conception of work. As we do, we’ll look at some of the lessons IT has learned along the way.

Enterprise mobility became about much more than managing mobile devices

Between 2010 and 2012, the EMM industry virtually exploded with companies new and old before consolidating sharply. As mobile devices became ever more entwined with our work and personal lives, EMM changed from an add-on technology to one that is built by major enterprise computing vendors and bundled with other enterprise management services.

At the same time, the capabilities of EMM products grew, starting with simple mobile device management (MDM) and adding in mobile application management (MAM), mobile content management (MCM), network and service management, advanced security features, and the ability to manage additional devices such as PCs and Internet of Things devices. Nowadays most EMM vendors call their products Unified Endpoint Management (UEM) platforms.