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Intune vs SCCM: A Comparison of Microsoft Solutions

Intune vs SCCM

Figuring out which software solution will meet the needs of your organization’s IT environment can be a big challenge. There are many factors to consider before making a final decision, and one of those is to learn what software solutions are available.

Intune and SCCM are two Microsoft solutions that help you manage the devices in your IT environment. Find out what each software solution does, how Intune vs SCCM compare to each other , and which one is right for you.

A quick note about these products: Microsoft has been in the midst of product name changes, so it’s probably been a little hard to keep track of everything. This announcement was posted on the Microsoft Intune blog with the latest update on the Intune product family.

What is Intune?

Intune, previously a part of Microsoft Endpoint Manager, is Microsoft’s endpoint management solution. It is cloud-based mobile device management (MDM) that allows you to handle device management for highly homogeneous environments. You can see over a variety of devices with an end-user operating system like workstations, laptops, tablets, and mobile-devices. Intune also supports a hybrid workforce.

Intune uses a profile-based approach to device management, and these profiles are prescribed by the operating system manufacturer. It provides an easy solution to manage mobile devices, but it comes at the cost of some limitations.

As with every MDM solution, Intune is restricted to a certain set of prescribed APIs that Microsoft provides. You can only do things the API allows you to do, and nothing else. This makes management easy and straightforward, but also limits functionality.

What is SCCM?

System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) is now part of Microsoft Endpoint Manager. SCCM is traditional endpoint management for organizations with on-prem servers who have a traditional on-prem workforce. It is used for the management of complex heterogeneous environments with endpoints like servers, laptops, and workstations, but it was mostly built to manage servers.

SCCM uses an agent-based approach to endpoint management, meaning that it installs agents onto each of the endpoints. This gives you administrator access to a device; an agent could theoretically do anything you can do as an administrator. This is only possible because the builder of SCCM has made it easier for you to accomplish those sorts of tasks through certain scripts and tools. Essentially, it has almost unlimited power on the device, or at least equivalent to the power that an administrator is given.

However, it is very complex and requires a lot of management and setup. It is usually a better fit for a larger organization.

Intune vs SCCM

Deciding between Intune and SCCM comes down to what you need your solution to do.

Here are main features for each Microsoft solution to compare:


  • Remote
  • Device, app, user, and password management in homogeneous environments
  • Self-service portal
  • Deploy policies automatically
  • Integrates with Microsoft Defender for Endpoint & other third party services
  • Requires an internet connection


  • On-premises
  • Server, laptop, and workstation management in heterogeneous environments
  • IT asset inventory
  • Software deployment
  • System health and performance monitoring
  • Requires an on-prem server and network

While the two solutions can serve very different functions, there is also some overlap. Both Intune and SCCM can do the following tasks, but they accomplish these tasks in different ways since Intune is cloud-based and SCCM is agent-based:

  • Manage applications: Intune and SCCM can update, install, or uninstall applications on end user devices.
  • Deploy scripts: Both solutions can push code to make changes to existing programs or code and modify configurations.
  • Manipulate users: SCCM and Intune manage end users and have the power to control access on their devices.
  • Deploy and apply patches: Each solution has the ability to apply software updates and patch systems.

Which Microsoft solution should you use?

Intune vs SCCM is like comparing apples to oranges, but they come from the same tree (Microsoft). Each solution serves a different purpose and different devices, and choosing which solution to use depends on your organization’s IT needs.

Use Intune if you have a lot of different endpoints in a variety of locations to keep track of, or if you’re looking for a straightforward management solution for your devices.

If you are part of a large organization that needs on-premises device and server management for a complex IT environment, use SCCM (now known as Microsoft Endpoint Manager). To learn more about what SCCM provides, check out this NinjaOne vs SCCM comparison.

Use NinjaOne for remote endpoint management

NinjaOne is an RMM that uses a centralized console to manage your users, endpoints, and infrastructure. It’s 100% cloud-based and allows for fast and secure remote access. Find out more about how NinjaOne can improve security, end-user satisfaction, and more by signing up for a free trial today.

Next Steps

Building an efficient and effective IT team requires a centralized solution that acts as your core service deliver tool. NinjaOne enables IT teams to monitor, manage, secure, and support all their devices, wherever they are, without the need for complex on-premises infrastructure.

Learn more about Ninja Endpoint Management, check out a live tour, or start your free trial of the NinjaOne platform.

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