MDM vs EMM: How To Differentitate?

December 29, 2020


Managing and securing corporate devices across organizational operations is more integral for business success than ever before. As the volume of confidential information transferred across endpoints for high level business operations is growing, the need to proactively manage corporate devices is also increasing. Therefore, leveraging a mobility management solution is crucial to monitor and secure all enrolled devices and prevent data leakage.

However, as the mobility management landscape is in constant flux, selecting an appropriate solution for your enterprise is becoming challenging. Various mobile security products such as MDM (Mobile Device Management) and EMM (Enterprise Mobility Management) have surfaced to address concerns regarding enterprise security and device management. Thus, it is becoming difficult for companies to select an optimum solution for their organization.

Let’s have a look at the features offered by both MDM and EMM

Mobile Device Management (MDM)

Mobile device management helps to securely manage and monitor all the enrolled devices used in enterprise to access corporate data. It offers real time visibility and control over entire device inventory and helps enterprises to identify violations and make informed decisions to secure corporate data.

Features of mobile device management

1. Device Enrolment

MDM helps to enrol multiple devices instantly over the air. It allows enterprises to push corporate apps, content as well as policies to enable employees to use their devices right away and be productive. It streamlines onboarding process and increases security by loading enterprise controls, configurations and apps the first time device is activated.

2. Policy Management

At the time of enrolment, admin can apply corporate policies as well as configurations in bulk with the help of mobile device management solution. It remotely pre-configures devices with basic settings such as Wi-Fi, email and more. With MDM software, admin can define multiple configurations that can be associated with devices, users, or groups with zero user intervention.

3. Device Security

Track device location in real time and set up a geofence with the help of MDM software to restrict device usage outside the defined boundary. In case a device gets misplaced or stolen, the solution also helps admin to lock or wipe a device remotely to secure confidential corporate data. It helps to configure devices to enforce security policies such as installation of apps, strong passwords, blocking certain websites, etc.

4. Location Tracking

With the help of MDM solution, organizations can keep a constant track of their managed devices. The location tracking feature helps to monitor movement of employees and retrieve details such as last operational location, battery and connectivity status, location coordinates, and more. Also, MDM helps to set up geofences for enhanced device tracking and to secure data in case a user moves out of restricted area.

5. Remote Control

Technical device issues can hamper employee productivity and to address these issues, especially for a large device inventory spread within multiple locations can be challenging for the IT team. Mobile device management platform helps IT team to offer instant support to remote workforce by troubleshooting device issues from the comfort of their desk. The admin can view device screen, take screenshots, push apps or files and provide remote assistance to users to increase operational efficiency and employee productivity.

Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM)

Enterprise mobility management (EMM) software enables organizations to manage and secure enterprise data on both corporate as well as employee-owned devices. It is more evolved and consists of scalable set of features to manage and secure enrolled devices, content, apps and information.

Major components of EMM

1. Mobile Device Management

Mobile device management is the key foundation of enterprise mobility management software. It assists in managing the complete mobile device through it’s lifecycle in an enterprise. MDM deals with enforcing security policies on devices, tracking real time device location, and remotely control the devices.

2. Mobile Application Management

MAM deals with comprehensive mobile application lifecycle management which includes installation, updation, configuration and uninstallation of business apps on enrolled devices. It allows enterprises to seamlessly deploy as well as update apps over the air. MAM offers in-depth management of apps such as restricting malicious apps and configuring or removing applications as per corporate policy.

3. Mobile Content Management

Mobile content management deals with securely sharing business critical data with employees. It allows admin to push corporate files over the air to multiple devices simultaneously. The data can be encrypted and file sharing can be restricted by disabling copy/paste feature, screenshot functionality, and more to prevent employees from sharing enterprise data with others.

4. Mobile Security Management

EMM helps to protect data on devices with robust security management measures. For application level security, it enables kiosk mode on devices to whitelist only business specific apps and prevent misuse of devices. For data security, it allows to encrypt business critical information and enforce strong security passwords on devices. The device data can be wiped in case a device is lost or stolen to prevent any data leakage. Also, it helps to create a work container on BYO devices to keep corporate data separate from personal data.

5. Identity and Access Management 

Identity and access management controls how employees use enterprise apps as well as data. It helps to maintain business security standards by implementing password and other authentication policies. IAM offers complete security over business resources with system level encryption and containerization. Enterprises can conduct compliance checks to identify violations and secure data.


From the above feature set of both MDM as well as EMM, it is clear that enterprise mobility management software offers a larger set of functionalities to top mobility needs. MDM addresses device concerns and helps in basic management of mobile devices by deploying device policies and employing security controls. On the other hand, EMM includes all features to manage enterprise mobility management needs including MCM, MDM, MAM, MSM, and more.

Conventional vs New age MDM

The new age mobile device management solution offers more than just remote device monitoring and management features to businesses. It helps to remotely manage mobile endpoints including smartphones, rugged devices, laptops, mPOS devices, tablets and more to monitor employee activity and increase workforce productivity. The new age MDM can make a world of difference and empowers enterprises to improve operational efficiency and increase overall business performance.


To conclude, both mobile device management as well as enterprise mobility management solution are different evolutionary stages of mobility management. The companies need to figure out their business needs and opt for the one which suits their mobility needs.