Virtualization and mobile device management (MDM) are great solutions to the growing mobility movement, but a new breed of platform is emerging that takes the discussion one step further. Enter: mobile application management (MAM). It’s making waves in the enterprise space as a new way to manage mobile security in an increasingly bring-your-own-device (BYOD) environment.
Many enterprises control authentication of devices on the network through MDM, but what happens when their needs evolve beyond merely managing access to also including the secure deployment of applications? That’s where MAM comes in. But application management isn’t just about getting applications onto user devices, says Chris Schroeder, co-founder and CEO of Reston, Virginia-based MAM vendor App47. Instead, there’s an entire lifecycle that needs to be carefully orchestrated. Where companies may have historically focused largely on deploying applications to mobile devices, Schroeder says, “They also need to manage and monitor those applications, just as you do with every other IT asset that’s out there in the enterprise.”
Schroeder says that a strong MAM solution allows for greater visibility into how applications mature throughout their lifecycles, and facilitates the management of applications — from inception to obsolescence — in a more holistic way.
Establishing good practices around application development are critical, but here we’ll focus on the later steps in the process — the distribution, data security, and ongoing management of applications within the enterprise environment. “It’s really a lifecycle that they go through,” says Ojas Rege, vice president of strategy at MobileIron, a MAM vendor in Mountain View, California. And as employees increasingly use mobile devices as their primary work tool, Rege believes the secure deployment and management of apps will become more important to companies of all sizes.
Think Basis Inc., a consulting firm in Toronto, wanted a way to get applications out to users. “We needed it because there is no real solution to deploy anything to iOS devices that is not in the iTunes store,” says Nick Dumitru, the company’s business growth specialist. That was