Apperian proves enterprise app stores don't have to be difficult
At the 2013 Gartner Security and Risk Management Summit in June, a panel predicted the death of mobile device management (MDM) market and predicted that mobile app management (MAM) solutions would eventually become the primary mobile security tools of enterprise IT. That followed a Gartner predication from February that said that by 2017 one quarter of enterprise companies will have deployed an enterprise app store for employees. Both statements are in line with overall evolution of mobile management concepts, which has become a move from the BlackBerry model of locking down a device as much as possible to securing data stored on the device.
In theory that migration from MDM to MAM is quite logical. It follows the growing trend of providing enterprise apps, developed in-house or by contracting a development firm, that mobilize existing enterprise tools and/or business processes. It also helps draw a privacy line between personal and business data on a device that addresses concerns about unsecured apps from public app stores as well as privacy of personal data on BYOD devices. MAM also offers the advantage of being a more lightweight solution that MDM.
The problem is that many IT organizations haven't even begun to formulate an app management policy or plan enterprise app store. There are a number of reasons that MAM remains on the back burner of IT projects.
- App purchasing and licensing still follows a consumer model without volume or site licensing options (though Apple's iOS 7 will introduce an enterprise licensing option).
- MAM and enterprise app stores both focus on developing a curated selection of public apps, an endeavor that can be daunting given that the iOS App Store and Google Play each offer about a million apps.
- Mobile and/or BYOD policies may still not be drafted or vetted with non-IT stakeholders like HR and legal departments.
- Enterprise app development is still ramping up in many organizations (and may not even have begun in some).
- Other IT projects, possibly including rolling out an MDM suite, could be higher priorities than app development, deployment, or management (in a survey last year, a majority of IT leaders said they expected more demands around mobility without an increase in budget or staffing).
- In some quarters, there's the perception that app management, particularly securing apps and their content, may be too complex and costly to address regardless of other IT projects.
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