Unified Endpoint Management (UEM) at the edge

Unified Endpoint Management (UEM) at the edge

After the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a significant increase in decentralized workforces, where employees expect their companies to offer digital technology that will allow them to work from anywhere and on any device. Initially, Unified Endpoint Management (UEM) focused on managing and securing traditional computing devices like smartphones, tablets, and PCs.

However, with the emergence of enterprise mobility management, which aimed to address the security and control of mobile devices, the service providers expanded their offerings. UEM solutions provide a single platform for IT administrators to manage, configure, monitor, and secure endpoints across different operating systems, device types, and locations.

There have been discussions regarding having a data management strategy when implementing an edge system, particularly with remote edge device deployments. The Unified Endpoint Management software companies should manage, monitor, and secure all end-user devices, including edge computing devices. By extending the UEM to the edge, service providers improve enterprise productivity and employee experience by providing low latency connectivity.

Beyond data management and device control, security is also a crucial aspect of managing devices at the edge. Strong security features and ensuring the highest security standards are maintained as key considerations while extending Unified Endpoint Management to the edge. However, there are some challenges faced by the expansion of UEM to the edge, including one at the security front, where the remotely deployed edge devices have limited hardware capabilities to run advanced security management software. These devices are not designed to handle the heavy resources needed to deal with complex software applications.

Unified Endpoint Management for the IoT

The current landscape of endpoint devices has shifted beyond traditional computing equipment, including various IoT devices, ranging from sensors to actuators and complex systems. These IoT devices exhibit varying degrees of software functionality combined with advanced wireless communication capabilities. To effectively incorporate these IoT devices into UEM (Unified Endpoint Management) strategies, it has become necessary to adapt IT design and management practices. These adaptations include the need for IT to accommodate the diverse range of IoT devices and ensure the security of these devices within corporate networks.

Blackberry has recently unveiled its plans to expand its UEM capabilities to include IoT devices by integrating its solution with AWS IoT Greengrass, an edge runtime and cloud service used in IoT endpoints. The integration is expected to offer enhanced visibility and management features for IoT endpoint devices across various industries, including manufacturing, automotive, healthcare, and enterprise sectors.

“AWS is delighted to collaborate with BlackBerry on UEM edge and IoT solutions to deliver unified and innovative endpoint management solutions for the future of the connected world,” says Dr. Sarah Cooper, general manager for Industry Products at AWS.

Unified Endpoint Management support convergence of OT and IT

The Intelligent Edge management approach involves the handling of both IT devices and operational technology devices. Companies like Blackberry are working towards the convergence of OT and IT by offering a solution capable of integrating and managing both traditional IT endpoints and IoT devices on a unified platform.

BlackBerry’s Unified Endpoint Management software, deployed at the edge, enhances enterprise productivity and improves the employee experience through low-latency connectivity. According to the company’s reports, users have witnessed a reduction in latency, up to 87 percent. To support UEM at the edge, BlackBerry has integrated the solution with its Network Operations Center, a secure connectivity infrastructure.

In addition, Blackberry has integrated AWS Local Zones and Availability Zones, components of Amazon’s cloud infrastructure offerings. Local Zones are specifically designed to bring important services closer to end-users, reducing latency. Availability Zones provide access to a wide array of AWS services. This integration facilitates the secure placement of compute, storage, and other services at the point where data is generated and consumed, enhancing overall performance and reliability.

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