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What are the use cases for virtual mobile infrastructure?

Virtual mobile infrastructure technology is primarily a security play, but it also can bring benefits for regulatory compliance and mobile app deployment.

Security is the main use case for virtual mobile infrastructure.

With virtual mobile infrastructure (VMI), a mobile application and its data remain safely protected in a data center. A special client app renders the app on an endpoint device, but the app does not run locally. So if a device is lost or stolen, or an individual leaves an organization, all an administrator needs to do is revoke access to the virtualized app. Even if someone manages to get unauthorized access, he cannot copy and paste sensitive data out of the app or even take screenshots.

The biggest roadblock to VMI adoption is that it requires the client to be constantly tethered to network access. When connectivity can be guaranteed, however, any organization in which security is a top priority can potentially benefit from VMI.

Some organizations might also turn to virtual mobile infrastructure to satisfy compliance requirements, which often go hand-in-hand with security. For example, the healthcare industry can use VMI to comply with Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act regulations, and retailers might turn to VMI for point-of-sale operations to comply with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, which specifies how credit card data should be handled.

Virtual mobile infrastructure can also ease the burden of implementing mobile apps, because developers need to build only one version of an app, instead of building a different version for each mobile operating system. All current VMI offerings use the Android platform, but their apps can run on any type of client devices in use.

Next Steps

VMI is like VDI but for mobile apps.
Why does the military use VMI?
VMI in't the only way to deliver remote Android apps.

This was last published in December 2015

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