InTune is Microsoft’s mobile device and applications management solution (MDM/MAM). This enables enterprises to manage how mobile devices are used, while enforcing policies that let IT control applications on the mobile device.
InTune allows enterprises to set policies for devices that include the convenience of BYOD, without getting wrapped around the axle on security. This is also a very Microsoft-centric view of mobility (which means it’s significant, particularly in the enterprise), so for example, you can distribute some or all of the Microsoft suite to users while controlling what those users can share. Arguably the biggest benefit? This helps with both security and compliance, both of which are non-optional, and expensive when done incorrectly. InTune is also cloud-based, so therefore highly compatible with Azure and the rest of the Microsoft app/service portfolio.
So this is all very useful and convenient, but the use of an MDM/MAM solution like InTune needs to be contextualized in the broader scope in which it operates, which is the technology ecosystem across the enterprise. While a mobile device is an important and high-transaction element in the enterprise, it is one of many, and there is a vast ecosystem of other IT assets (server, cloud and virtual instances, accessories, etc.) that are highly interdependent and moving through their lifecycles at varying speeds. Ensuring that stand-alone technology management systems are fully integrated is where Oomnitza’s Enterprise Technology Management solution is a direct complement to InTune.
Enterprise technology is normally managed as a function of what it is. Hardware is managed one way, software another, cloud and virtual infrastructure, as well as mobile each have their own set of specialized tools to manage the specific type of asset in question. This is fine, as long as there is no correlation between software and hardware and cloud services. Of course, there is a very strong correlation (try accessing software without hardware), and more importantly, this correlation extends to the specific user in question. Your CIO is going to have a very different usage profile than a customer support rep, but siloed systems only look at their slice of the technology without any referential framework.
Enterprise Technology Management is intended to correlate and contextualize technology both across the enterprise, and across the entire product lifecycle, from ordering to end-of-life, regardless of whether its software, hardware, virtual, accessories, network equipment, etc. This effectively lets you optimize the use of specific IT assets as they move through the product lifecycle (refreshes, updates, patches, etc.), ensuring that employees have exactly what they need exactly when they need it.
Combining InTune with Enterprise Technology Management provides depth of security at a critical juncture within any enterprise IT ecosystem – the edge of the network, where the attack surface is generally most vulnerable, with the back-end information systems that are the core of managing data both across the enterprise and the asset lifecycle. The effect of this integration affects a broad range of use cases; for purposes of simplicity, three immediate impact examples would be:
Use Case 1 – Security-centric
Managing security requirements at the edge of the network has never been more critical, particularly as the potential attack surface continues to expand.
- Securely manage iOS, Android, Windows, and macOS devices with a single solution that integrates into ancillary technologies that are integral to the use of the device
- Increase the integrity of information about all your devices by providing context on usage, who is using the device, for what specifically are they authorized, what is the status of AV software, etc.
- Increase security and minimize data loss by spotting any anomalous behaviors (e.g. receive alerts that your San Francisco-based CFO is logging in at 2am from North Korea)
Use Case 2 – Compliance-centric
The regulatory environment is complex, dynamic, and increasingly onerous, unless you have a clear and accessible understanding of the disposition of all your technology. With a combined InTune/Oomnitza solution you can:
- Discover whether Things are compliant with policies for security, find out when operating systems need updating, and get a complete view into other IT asset management variables
- Run corporate-wide reports to get a clear picture of the status and distribution of all your devices
- Know with certainty who has what where, to make your audits a non-event
Use Case 3 – Lifecycle management-centric
IT assets are in continuous motion, and not just in the physical sense. Products enter the enterprise ecosystem and move through a steady series of status changes as they are procured, imaged, secured, managed, etc. Knowing with complete certainty the exact status of IT assets allows you to:
- Set up workflows that show when Things are not compliant with Intune’s mobile device management (MDM) policies
- Streamline deployment, provisioning, policy management, and updates as devices move through the product lifecycle
- Set up asset management workflows to scale and automate your management processes to save time
- Gain a clear view into end-of-life, licensing, warranties, and other valuable information about all of your organization’s IT assets
The edge of the network is where the biggest potential threat exists, and that edge is driven by two things; the proliferation of devices (due to a combination of expanding use of IoT and a far more distributed workforce), and the brutal acceleration of cloud deployments to support said expanded workforce. Using InTune in combination with Oomnitza provides both the secure coverage needed at the edge of the network, as well as a bi-directional integration that provides timely real-time integrated context to the use of enterprise IT resources.