Mobile application management is rapidly being adopted as a policy thanks to the growing culture of ‘bring your own device’ to the workplace. This culture has created the need for mobile application management (MAM) in order to control access to internally developed and commercially available apps used on personal or company-provided devices.

Mobile application management enables the workplace to download required applications to an employees device, restrict and control access to company data, as well as remotely wiping any data on the device if it should be lost, or the user is no longer employed by the business.

Mobile application management should be part of your overall cyber security strategy. If your not sure where to start take a look at our cyber security guide.

Benefits of Mobile Application Management

  1. Increased flexibility for employees, allowing them to work remotely or on the go as required.
  2. Reduced burden on IT, as organisations can send out mobile apps and updates to all devices periodically, instead of requiring IT to physically handle all devices.
  3. Maintains privacy for business and users, as the company is merely controlling access and restrictions to company-related data, and users don’t need to fear that the company is monitoring all activity on their device.
  4. Efficient rollouts, as internal business apps can be deployed through an enterprise app store, rather than being required to go through the tedious process of applying for approval to publish through the Apple App Store or Google Play.
  5. Improved end-user experience, as employees are able to respond promptly and interact with customers at any time, without being restricted to a workplace environment.

Different Types of Mobile Application Management

When a topic already seems somewhat confusing, let’s muddy things further. There are two main types of mobile application management that can be used. The first is when you have the management features built directly into the app packages themselves. The other is where you have a device with a built-in management framework that can differentiate between enterprise apps and data, and personal apps and data. These frameworks rely on an underlying MDM enrolment.

When you have an app that’s come directly from an enterprise mobility management (EMM) vendor, they will usually have mobile application management features built into them. Developers can also use software development kits (SDKs) to incorporate MAM functionality into enterprise apps.

This ‘app-level MAM’ has a few advantages. You can add whatever security or management features you require directly into the apps. Additionally, you don’t need to worry about the security of the device itself, because you’re building security directly into the app, and as a consequence, no mobile device management is required.

Regarding ‘device level MAM’, you have more freedom in that you can apply mobile application management features to any app, regardless of what it is, or who created it. You also have consistent management features across all apps, since it’s all part of the same device framework. Overall, device level management is far simpler and more streamlined.

Disadvantages include: requiring mobile device management for devices, meaning you need to enroll, manage and trust the devices, which can be tricky when considering employees using personal devices for work. Another issue to consider is that the Android platform is still somewhat fragmented; many devices don’t support Android for Work, or all recent features, as opposed to Apple devices which are consistent across the board.

Mobile Application Management Tools

The following list are some vendor tools designed for mobile application management. This is not a comprehensive list by any means, and always do the research before making a decision to ensure you’re choosing the right tool for your needs. They each have different strengths and weaknesses. Some are designed to be used as part of a software package, but some may be utilised separately.

If you’d like to incorporate a Mobile Application Management system into your business, and need someone to help you roll it out and provide support, have a chat with our brilliant team at Stanfield IT.