The rise of mobility is pretty easy to explain. Employees demanded a more flexible work environment. Employers realized this flexibility would allow employees to be more productive. Then employees demanded to be able to use their personal devices for work stuff. Although this scenario is hardly new, organizations are still struggling to manage the onslaught of desktop and mobile endpoint devices, both company-owned and employee-owned. Unified endpoint management (UEM) has emerged to address these challenges.
UEM allows IT to remotely manage and control mobile, desktop and even Internet of Things devices. Gartner recommends using a UEM solution that makes it possible to perform all management tasks from a single console. Additionally, security services, device configuration and usage policies should be unified to allow for centralized coordination of endpoint-related activities and technologies.
Gartner predicts that mobile devices will be used for 80 percent of tasks in the workplace by 2020, leading to increased adoption of UEM. Already, more than half of enterprises have a UEM solution but only a small percentage are actually using those solutions. Most IT teams use a mixture of tools and processes to manage endpoint devices, and are still trying to understand how best to utilize UEM.
Microsoft Intune can help drive an organization’s UEM strategy. Intune is a cloud-based tool designed to simplify the management and configuration of mobile devices, applications, access controls, and security and compliance policies. Organizations pay a monthly, per-user fee for Intune, which can run on all of a user’s devices when used in conjunction with Office 365.
With Intune, users can be onboarded whether they use a company-owned or personal device. IT has the ability to control access to specific business applications and content without taking over the entire device. Policies that govern who is authorized to access what applications and data can be applied to any device. This allows organizations to consolidate management tools and policy and configuration platforms.
Intune can be purchased separately or in one of Microsoft’s Enterprise Mobility + Security bundles that include Azure Active Directory, Azure Information Protection and other security services. Because Azure Active Directory is required for most new Microsoft products, including Office 365, many organizations are opting for the bundled subscription. Intune also comes bundled with Azure Active Directory in Microsoft’s Enterprise Agreement.
Intune is constantly evolving, with new features added nearly every week. To keep customers in the loop, Microsoft has created a UserVoice forum that allows admins to submit and vote on ideas for new Intune features. UserVoice will tell you the status of each proposed feature (noted, under review, planned, declined, etc.) or whether the feature already exists.
Admins also have the option to use the public Microsoft 365 roadmap to get the latest information on new feature updates and view the health of Intune and all Office 365 services. The Message Center can also be configured to filter messages and opt in to receive email alerts about feature updates.
Even with a solution as comprehensive and user-friendly as Intune, UEM implementation is a complex process. AdaptivEdge is a Microsoft Gold Partner with the expertise to help organizations evaluate Microsoft solutions from business, technical and financial perspectives. Let us show you how Intune can help you get a handle on endpoint device management across your organization.
Written and composed by Principal, Steve Soper