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The IT pro's guide to mobile app delivery

Last updated:November 2014

Editor's note

There's no shortage of mobile app delivery approaches to help business users get real work done on their smartphones and tablets.

Virtualization, application refactoring and enterprise app stores are all potential options, but IT pros must consider the cost, complexity and user-friendliness of each before making any decisions. Delivering Windows applications to mobile devices may be easy -- especially in shops that already use desktop or application virtualization -- but it doesn't always make for a great user experience. Native mobile apps are easier to use, but building, buying and deploying them can get tricky.

There's more than one right way to approach mobile app delivery, and many organizations use a combination of different strategies. Evaluate your options with the resources in this Essential Guide.

1Comparing app delivery strategies

Desktop and application virtualization are often the first technologies IT pros turn to when they need to deliver legacy software to mobile devices. Virtualization streams Windows applications -- which are designed for mouse-and-keyboard interfaces -- to mobile devices, which have touchscreens. As such, it may not provide the greatest user experience compared to apps that have been developed from the ground up for mobile. Refactoring could emerge as a beneficial middle ground.

2Pros and cons of enterprise app stores

Enterprise app stores are a good way for companies to empower mobile workers. Whether your company has custom applications or wants to take advantage of publicly available apps, an enterprise app store can help you get them into the right hands.

3The new world of app refactoring

Application refactoring supplements traditional application virtualization by retooling Windows apps for mobile interfaces. The technology is still new, but it could solve some of the user interface problems that spring up when running Windows apps on smartphones and tablets.

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