Mobile Application Management and How we Got Here

Successful Workplace_MAMWe came across a piece written by Successful Workplace that addresses the issue of managing the apps rather then the device when working within a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) environment. The message of the piece is clear in that Mobile Application Management (MAM) is the proper solution for BYOD programs as it allows for management and control over the information being accessed rather then the devices that information is sitting on. It points to capabilities such as app stores, managing app access based on employee role, developing, testing, monitoring app performance as capabilities that align with BYOD programs.

While getting to that point they cover a bit of evolution of the mobile industry and how it has gotten to the point where some folks are saying MAM is the proper solution for enterprise mobility strategies. It’s a brief but clear outline of how the industry got to where it is today and we though we would share some of their thoughts. They harken back to the explosion of smart-phones that began to push BlackBerry off of its pedestal. As these new devices and OS came into the work place IT tried to apply the BlackBerry Enterprise Server security to these devices. With apps beyond email, calendars and contacts running on the devices this approach clearly had gaps in it.

Enter Mobile Device Management (MDM). With more granular management capabilities clearly needed, we began to see solutions providers offer solutions with greater feature for a variety of devices. MDM providers developed solutions that would set the protocols and guidelines as to how devices could and would be used based on the features they offered. These solutions allowed IT to ensure compliance, manage, log, track and protect data through the ability to remote whip or lock the devices. Successful Workplace states that part of the MDM adoption was due to that fact that it was the only mobile security solutions out there at the time. Like before, as the device capabilities, features and usage changed so did the security needed to properly manage and secure said devices and information.

The piece points to “two major streams of demand” that caused the next shift in the industry evolution. The first demand they point to is the BYOD trend. With employees wanting to utilized their personal device for work and play problems can arise with the compliance needed for MDM. They refer to MDM as an “all-or-nothing approach” in that for MDM to work complete control over the device needs to be given up. Clearly something that might not sit to well when you are taking about employee’s personal devices. Secondly they point to the importance apps now play and the level at which they are used within organizations. With the number of applications and the level at which they are engrained into organization’s business processes it has become very important to manage the apps entire lifecycle. It is no longer just the deployment and updates to the apps that need to be looked at but the development, testing, distribution, monitoring, tracking and management that are important.

Enter MAM. Click here to read the full piece from Successful Workplace.