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VMI won’t find a long-term role in mobile app deployment

Throughout the movie Mean Girls, resident gossip Gretchen Wieners tries to make the word “fetch” catch on as a substitute for something great or cool. For instance, you might say, “That jacket is so fetch.” Fed up with Gretchen’s insistence that the word will get popular, queen bee Regina George demands, “Stop trying to make fetch happen. It’s not going to happen!”

When it comes to mobile app deployment, IT pros might feel the same way about virtual mobile infrastructure (VMI).

Matt Kosht


“People want it to be a thing,” said Matt Kosht, an IT manager based in Alaska, in the latest issue of Modern Mobility. “I just don’t think it is a thing. It’s a niche, in a niche, in a niche.”

One big reason that VMI — which delivers data center-hosted mobile OSes to users’ devices — shares its fate with the Mean Girls catchphrase is that it doesn’t work with iOS. Apple’s licensing prevents companies from hosting the OS in a data center. Like the disagreeing mean girls, that’s left VMI providers spinning their wheels without Apple’s support.

VMI also doesn’t guarantee the security benefits many people think it does. In fact, it can make things more dangerous by creating a direct path for hackers into the data center.

Kosht sees app refactoring, which restructures existing application code to be more mobile friendly, as a more realistic method of mobile app delivery. Still, it’s an immature technology, and in many cases organizations might be better off building a brand new app for mobile use rather than taking a 20-year-old traditional app and trying to cram it onto mobile devices.

Find out what else Kosht had to say about VMI, app refactoring, and desktop and application virtualization on mobile devices in this Modern Mobility Q&A.