Mobile management is no longer about just device management. App management is now a crucial part of the equation as well.
When Apple released iOS 4 two years ago, with a framework for device management built into the OS, the focus of IT departments and security specialists was to activate, configure, and lock down iPhones and iPad as well as other mobile devices. Mobile device management (MDM) was the big iOS-in-business buzz word for quite some time. Over the past several months, however, the discussion around mobile management has shifted significantly as a new concept has become the IT mantra for mobile devices.
That new concept is Mobile app management (MAM) and it has come to be seen as a critical part of supporting and securing mobile devices (including iPhones and iPads) in business. MAM has a different focus from mobile device management (MDM).
Apple’s concept of the App Store works well for consumers. Search for whatever apps you want or need and buy or download them with one-click shopping in iTunes of the App Store app on an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. That system starts to break down when it comes to iOS devices in the workplace, particularly for companies that create internal apps that need to be rolled out to a large number of users. It can become even more complicated when dealing with employee-owned devices because IT may never see the iPhone or iPads that are being used and therefore need a specific set of apps.
The best option for addressing this need is the concept of an enterprise app store – an app that users can install from a central location on their corporate network that will allow them to peruse a selection of apps developed by their company’s IT department as well as business apps from Apple’s App Store.