If employees’ devices are increasingly difficult to manage, it might be time to look at mobile application management instead.
Mobile application management (MAM) offers ways for admins to selectively embrace BYOD and secure corporate data simultaneously, and corporate and personal apps can live harmoniously on the same consumer device. MAM is a step in the right direction in this age of consumerization, because the reality is that IT no longer has a choice about whether there’s sensitive data on users’ devices. It’s already there. All admins can do is work with users, devices and apps to keep sensitive data locked down.
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What is mobile application management anyway?
Mobile application management has to do with securing, delivering and controlling access to enterprise software on smartphones and tablets, whether they’re corporate- or employee-owned devices. The two most popular ways for IT to implement MAM are through enterprise app stores and app wrapping. IT departments may also choose to use a combination of both methods of MAM.
How is that different from mobile device management (MDM)?
Here’s the short answer: The difference between MDM and MAM is that MDM is for managing devices, while MAM is for managing apps.
Here’s the long answer: MDM software allows IT to control, encrypt and lock down devices and enforce policies. It’s for activating, enrolling, configuring and monitoring devices. Mobile application management locks down specific apps instead of the whole device. It’s for installing, maintaining, tracking and auditing apps and gives IT control of mobile application security on corporate apps. That way, users maintain control of the personal aspects of their devices. If there’s ever a need to remote wipe a device, IT can wipe just the corporate data. Admins can also encrypt corporate data and apps and not mess with the personal data and apps on users’ devices.
How can I use mobile application management to control apps?
There are two ways IT can use MAM to control apps: enterprise app stores and app wrapping (or a combination of the two). An enterprise app store allows IT to deploy apps to users and control access to certain apps. But the drawback comes in the fact that most apps are already publicly available, so admins will simply end up using the app store to link to those publicly available apps.
The other route IT can take is app wrapping, which entails taking an app, adding extra security and management features and deploying it as one containerized program. App wrapping may seem like a better option, but in most cases, wrapping publicly available apps isn’t possible -- IT can’t access third-party app code, which admins need to wrap the app.
What else can I do with MAM tools?
Admins can use MAM tools to keep up with mobile application security best practices. The tools can help IT install and maintain corporate and whitelisted apps without affecting the way employees use their personal devices. Mobile application management tools also help IT support over-the-air app installation and maintenance. In some cases, users will need to install MAM agents on their devices first, but then admins can keep track of which apps are on which devices. Mobile application management tools can also supply configuration files and licensing information that employees need to use certain IT-approved apps.