Ten years ago, no one knew what a smart device was. Now we see them everywhere – from wearable tech to smartphones to smart homes and beyond. People are using them everywhere, every day, whether at home or at work. This led to companies implementing BYOD policies, which in turn led to the need for mobile device management (MDM) policies.

It is important to note that MDM is not exactly a piece of software. Instead, it is a solution where software like Workspace ONE is used to provision mobile devices while keeping the assets of an organisation, like sensitive corporate data, secure. MDM policies will involve strict security protocols, processes and – yes – the application of MDM software to control the use of mobile devices within a work environment.

Beyond being able to manage mobile device inventories and provisioning for said devices, the majority of MDM applications include tools that help protect the content, applications and data on a mobile device. This device-centric approach is very different to unified endpoint management where a user-centric approach is used.

So the short answer is yes – VMware Workspace ONE is a solution for mobile device management. But it is, in fact, a UEM solution. And MDM is just one of the features that it offers.

What Is Workspace ONE?

Workspace ONE is a digital workspace platform developed by virtualisation and cloud infrastructure giants VMware. The app management capabilities of Workspace ONE UEM allows organisations to deploy and manage any app on any device. A combination of various VMware products, it integrates secure access control, application management and multi-platform endpoint management tools.

The key phrases here are ‘any app on any device’ and ‘multi-platform endpoint management’. That is not an exaggeration. Built on VMware’s AirWatch Unified Endpoint Management (UEM) technology, it gives organisations the ability to deliver a digital workspace that is inherently flexible but doesn’t sacrifice control and security in any way.

The modern workforce is decentralised, even more so after the COVID-19 pandemic forced businesses to shift to a remote working model almost overnight. Employees expect the companies they work for to provide them with the tools and technology that allow them to work on any device, at any time, no matter where they are.

And Workspace ONE, in a nutshell, is a single solution that gives businesses of all shapes and sizes the ability to remotely manage traditional desktops, mobile devices, rugged hardware, wearable tech and Internet of Things (IoT) devices. Any platform, any operating system (OS) – Workspace ONE provides enterprise-level security at every stage, along with unrivalled device and application management.

What Is Mobile Device Management (MDM)?

Mobile devices are portable in nature. But, while this offers a lot of benefits for the end-user, it can present endless headaches for IT administrators. Things like unauthorised data access, data leakage, devices being lost, damaged or stolen and ‘shadow IT’ are just some of the problems that an enterprise can face with a mobile-friendly workspace.

A mobile device management solution is specialised software that gives IT admins the ability to securely monitor, manage and secure any mobile devices that have access to sensitive corporate data. As the capabilities of mobile devices improve and adoption increases, many MDM solutions or clients have evolved into enterprise mobility management (EMM) solutions like Workspace ONE.

Third-party MDMs and UEMs like Workspace ONE give organisations the tools needed to store information about devices connected to their corporate network, control which apps can be present on allowed devices, locate lost or stolen devices and instantly remove permissions if necessary, and configure security and access settings.

MDM essentially allows companies to leverage the productivity and satisfaction boosts that come with employees being able to use the device of their choice to do their work, without compromising on the control and security needed to keep sensitive corporate data out of the hands of malicious actors.

What Are the Key Features of MDM?

The features offered and operating systems supported by an MDM can vary a lot between different solutions. At their core, MDM applications monitor the behaviours and sensitive data on any enrolled devices. More sophisticated solutions can use AI and machine learning to do this. Which one an organisation opts for will depend on a variety of factors, but there are some key features that the top solutions share.

These key features include:

Device tracking

Device tracking is more than just GPS-enabled location services that can help end-users find their lost or stolen devices, although this is part of it. Device tracking includes maintaining an inventory of every enrolled device, along with specific hardware and software information for each of them. This is an important aspect of preventing shadow IT on both company-owned and BYOD devices.

The type of data that can be viewed includes ownership information, the configurations of installed applications and OSs, security and warranty status, and more. IT departments are also able to remotely remove permissions for, erase all data on and lock a device that has been compromised in any way.

Mobile management

One of the most significant features of MDM technology is the ability to remotely manage devices connected to the MDM server. This allows IT teams to ensure that all devices and applications can be updated and serviced from a central location. Because it doesn’t require in-person visits, companies can save huge amounts of time on a multitude of time-consuming tasks.

This includes onboarding new devices (corporate owned or BYOD), employees and applications, deploying software updates and changing app configurations, performing device diagnostics and troubleshooting any issues end-users may experience. And remember – any device and any platform are supported, whether Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux or some other custom OS.

Application security

Every organisation wants its employees to be as productive as possible. This means ensuring they have easy access to all the applications and files they need in order to carry out their responsibilities. With the app management capabilities of MDM software, an enterprise can whitelist or blacklist different applications, automating the background deployment of important security patches and restricting access to sensitive data according to custom-defined rules.

In some cases, it involves containerising modern applications in order to set access controls, prevent functions like copying, pasting, or downloading data and even sharing files with unauthorised devices.

Enterprise App Repository

Workspace ONE includes an enterprise app catalog meaning IT admins can quickly populate a repository of the both popular or commonly used apps – especially useful for Windows apps. It will serve as a one-stop-shop to procure 100s of commonly used, prepackaged, and preconfigured apps that IT can instantly deploy to end-users’ Workspace ONE Intelligent Hub catalog.

Identity and access management

With the ability to set different access controls and configure multiple restrictions, organisations can ensure data security and compliance for every end-user based on custom user groups and device type. Employees still have access to all the tools they need to perform their daily tasks, provided they meet the necessary identity and access requirements.

For those who don’t, MDM solutions make it possible to remotely configure the device in question, including installing necessary applications like a VPN, adjusting settings for Wi-Fi access and defining restrictions for device usage, such as enabling Single-App Kiosk Mode. IT can also restrict certain user groups from being able to access any data that isn’t relevant to them.

Endpoint security

Endpoint security covers every device that has access to a corporate network and includes wearable tech, IoT devices, non-traditional mobile devices and even custom-built devices using outdated legacy operating systems and applications. It can include managing antivirus software, defining network access controls, managing incident responses, strengthening cloud security and filtering URLs for any reason.

Is Workspace ONE an MDM?

The very short answer to this question is not exactly. Workspace ONE is an integrated solution that includes MDM as one of its primary features. The days of multiple, complicated login procedures and rigid device management have passed. Employees need solutions that give them simplified and quick access to the applications and data they need to do their jobs efficiently, no matter which device they choose to do them on.

Workspace ONE is transforming the digital workspace by giving employees exactly that. By utilising cloud-based and infinitely scalable unified endpoint management technology, Workspace ONE provides enterprises with highly secure, out-of-the-box, on-the-go, self-service powered experiences, no matter where they are, what platform they prefer to use or what ownership model they use.

Workspace ONE has the tools to systematically manage any app on any endpoint for a wide variety of use cases. It combines the device-focused approach of traditional MDM with the user-focused approach of EMM to provide a universal endpoint management system that never sacrifices controls and is thus more secure than both from the second it is deployed.

Any organisation can securely and reliably deliver all the data and applications that each employee requires – wherever, whenever and however they choose to access it. This means organisations can put employees’ needs first and give them the freedom from rigid device policies traditional workplace environments they crave.

But they can do this while protecting their most sensitive corporate data from the constantly evolving threat of cyberattacks and even simple user error with everything from the simplest access controls to full-scale disaster recovery procedures.

Ready to Discover How Your Business Can leverage Workspace ONE and Mobile Device Management with AUCloud?

Every organisation needs an IT partner that understands all the benefits and challenges that come with shifting to a digital workspace. AUCloud can help business leaders, government agencies and Critical National Infrastructure (CNI) providers realise all the benefits and innovation opportunities that VMware Workspace ONE has to offer, so contact them today to find out more about this leading UEM solution.

AUCloud provides Sovereign Cloud and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) to organisations across Australia. One of our main services is helping organisations implement the right UEM solution. If you are interested, you can speak to our sales team by calling 1800 282 568. Alternatively, you can email us on sales@aucloud.com.au.