Mobile application management

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Mobile application management (MAM) describes software and services responsible for provisioning and controlling access to internally developed and commercially available mobile apps used in business settings on both company-provided and “bring your own” smartphones and tablet computers. Companies who provide this kind of software include Apperian, VMWare, AirWatch, and Workspot inc.

Mobile application management differs from mobile device management (MDM). As the names suggest; MAM focuses on application management, it provides a lower degree of control over the device, but a higher level of control over applications. MDM solutions manage the down to device firmware and configuration settings and can include management of all applications and application data.[1]

History[edit]

Enterprise mobile application management has been driven by the widespread adoption and use of mobile applications in business settings. In 2010 International Data Corporation reported that smartphone use in the workplace will double between 2009 and 2014.[2]

The “bring your own device” (BYOD) phenomenon is a factor behind mobile application management, with personal PC, smartphone and tablet use in business settings (vs. business-owned devices) rising from 31 percent in 2010 to 41 percent in 2011.[3] When an employee brings a personal device into an enterprise setting, mobile application management enables the corporate IT staff to download required applications, control access to business data, and remove locally cached business data from the device if it is lost, or when its owner no longer works with the company.[4]

Use of mobile devices in the workplace is also being driven from above. According to Forrester Research, businesses now see mobile as an opportunity to drive innovation across a wide range of business processes.[5] Forrester issued a forecast in August 2011 predicting that the “mobile management services market” would reach $6.6 billion by 2015 – a 69 percent increase over a previous forecast issued six months earlier.[5]

Citing the plethora of mobile devices in the enterprise – and a growing demand for mobile apps from employees, line-of-business decision-makers, and customers – the report states that organizations are broadening their “mobility strategy” beyond mobile device management to “managing a growing number of mobile applications.”[5]

App wrapping[edit]

App wrapping was initially a favored method of applying policy to applications as part of mobile application management solutions.

App wrapping sets up a dynamic library and adds to an existing binary that controls certain aspects of an application. For instance, at startup, you can change an app so that it requires authentication using a local passkey. Or you could intercept a communication so that it would be forced to use your company's virtual private network (VPN) or prevent that communication from reaching a particular application that holds sensitive data. [6]

Increasingly, the likes of Apple and Samsung are overcoming the issue of app wrapping. Aside from the fact that app wrapping is a legal grey zone, and may not meet its actual aims, it is not possible to adapt the entire operating system to deal with numerous wrapped apps. In general, wrapped apps available in the app stores have also not proven to be successful due to their inability to perform without MDM. On the other hand, iOS 7 or Samsung KNOX include features that make app wrapping no longer a necessity.

System features[edit]

An end-to-end MAM solution provides the ability to: control the provisioning, updating and removal of mobile applications via an enterprise app store, monitor application performance and usage, and remotely wipe data from managed applications. Core features of mobile application management systems include:

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Thrive on Consumerization How to manage the revolution and enhance user productivity". Intel. p. 7. Retrieved 6 January 2013. 
  2. ^ Unisys Consumerization of IT Study 2011
  3. ^ The Economist, “Beyond the PC: Survey on Personal Technology,” 2011-10-08, page 11
  4. ^ Gruman, Galen, “Mobile Edge,” ‘’InfoWorld’’, 2011-4-26
  5. ^ a b c McCarthy, John C., and Pelino, Michele, ‘’Mobile Management Takes a 180-Degree Turn,’’ Forrester Research, 2011-08-11
  6. ^ The Science of App Wrapping, Network World, 2013-05-07