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Unified Endpoint Management and the Future of Asset Lifecycle Management

asset lifecycle management

Unified Endpoint Management (UEM) has the potential to revolutionize the way enterprises approach the complex problem of managing not only traditional wireless assets such as tablets and mobile devices, but also laptops, desktops and next-generation IT categories such as wearables, sensors and Internet of Things (IoT)-networked devices. As such, UEM has earned its place as a noteworthy asset lifecycle management buzzword.

What does UEM encompass, and how can your organization uncover a solution that uses automation and a technology-first, software approach to support asset lifecycle management? In this blog, we break down the buzzwords to explain the core value delivered when organizations manage their IT assets with a unified, comprehensive strategy rather than taking a siloed or departmental approach.

What is UEM?

Simply put, UEM unites all IT assets and endpoints within a common, centralized and software-driven asset lifecycle management platform that uses technology and automation to track, manage and optimize an enterprise’s entire IT portfolio.

These platforms help unify and support an enterprise’s program resources, policies and technologies, and address the need for a single source of truth by bringing a wide range of IT assets into a centralized Enterprise Technology Management (ETM) effort. Through Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) and Software Development Kits (SDKs), UEM products also integrate with a wide range of ETM tools, existing software systems, and third-party technical platforms to better control and drive value from asset lifecycle management.

At its core, UEM is about viewing all IT assets as part of a broader business strategy rather than a separate technology category.

Asset Lifecycle Management Benefits

Adopting a UEM platform provides numerous asset lifecycle management benefits, including:

Single-solution architecture: A single, software-based ETM platform creates a high degree of corporate visibility and enables employees to access corporate IT usage, expense and optimization data.

Ease of onboarding: UEM software enables organizations to push out device requirements, policies, applications and environments, meaning assets go from out-of-the-box to in-use faster and with greater standardization.

Security: Like onboarding, UEM also enables organizations to provision corporate security policies such as encryption, multifactor authentication, apps and security credentials remotely and before the asset reaches the hands of any employee.

Visibility and improved management: Through centralized IT asset lifecycle management, enterprises have a single source of truth for monitoring inventory, usage, expenses, security and potential points of failure. This visibility provides not only opportunities for cost savings, but also the ability to troubleshoot, diagnose and resolve issues remotely.

Prepare for the future of mobility: As IT asset lifecycle management evolves and organizations increase both the volume and scope of assets under management, UEM platforms offer the benefit of automation by addressing the ongoing break/fix, replacement and upgrade needs ETM.

Unified corporate IT environment: All these benefits deliver the single greatest asset lifecycle management advantage of this approach when combined: the creation of a unified ETM environment in which experiences are standardized, managed and optimized across the organization.

Transitioning Asset Lifecycle Management to a UEM Mindset

Framing UEM as a new way to think about IT strategy can benefit any organization, regardless of whether it decides to adopt a UEM solution or not.

For those organizations that prefer a high degree of human support and service rather than ETM automation, this new “mindset” can still provide value – even if there is no new software being leveraged. The UEM approach is simply a move toward creating a more standardized and comprehensive IT asset lifecycle management approach managed and optimized across the organization. It better prepares enterprises for next-generation assets and technology-enabled processes.

In the early days of ETM, organizations generally took a siloed and departmental approach to procuring, managing and replacing enterprise technologies and services. Companies quickly realized, however, that there are cost savings and efficiency gains to be had from approaching asset lifecycle management at an organization-wide level.

Time has become an increasingly scarce IT asset lifecycle management resource, and thus increasingly more valuable. Organizations seek to assign IT time to higher value tasks rather than sorting through bills or providing generic help desk support.

Just as organizations have done with ETM, viewing IT as a strategic differentiator or a means of generating value (and even profit) can enable an enterprise to achieve synergies, efficiencies and long-term evolution.

Organizations that approach IT asset lifecycle management through the lens of UEM are better able to plan for long-term, strategic uses of technology and transition to new business models driven by Machine-to-Machine (M2M) or Internet of Things (IoT) technologies.

Thanks to UEM, asset lifecycle management now includes a much broader range of assets and services than past definitions. Regardless of whether your enterprise utilizes a single software platform, in-house solutions or a combination of third-party providers to manage IT endpoints, a UEM mindset prepares your organization for the next generation of ETM and creates a culture that links technology and business strategy.

How can UEM upgrade your asset lifecycle management efforts? Talk to one of Tangoe’s global technology experts to find out.