A recent study by NASSCOM pegs the enterprise mobility market to hit $140 billion by 2020.While many businesses are still putting the finishing touches on their Mobile Device Management (MDM) strategy, others are already taking the next steps, investing in mobile applications, either buying them off the shelf or customizing them. The coming mobile application sprawl within the enterprise may soon lead to chaos— are the CIOs prepared?
This is where Mobile Application Management (MAM) comes in.
First, let me take a step back and define MAM – it is the delivery and administration of enterprise software to end users on their mobile device that may or may not be personal. MAM’s focus is on delivering software, licensing, security, usage policy, access/user authentication, configuration, updates, maintenance, reporting and tracking, rollbacks and application refresh/retirement. If this sounds familiar, it is because enterprises have been doing this for ages. Except they have been doing it in a desktop environment. They now need to do the same for mobile devices.
Many of the applications being used by enterprises today are bought off the shelf, and may or may not be customized in-house. Clearly, applications in an enterprise cannot be managed the same way they are managed in a store. Within an enterprise, there are costs associated with developing, maintaining, supporting and securitizing apps, upgrading and enhancing them, personalizing them, ensuring that the user experience across devices as well as the desktop is consistent and app updates and new apps are pushed to users. This is where an MAM framework is important.
An MAM framework provides the enterprise with an inventory of the company's mobile applications and metrics to capture and illustrate the business benefits of each application. Using a scoring system, an MAM system generates reports on the health and value of each application. The system can analyze metrics related to the age of an app, who uses it most often and how often, the cost associated with its maintenance, its relationship with other apps, etc. These metrics allow managers to take accurate decisions on whether or not an app should be retained, upgraded, retired or replaced.
In addition, the framework can include a comparison of devices, owners, heat zones for app usage etc, to define and constantly refine IT policies. These policies can be deployed to optimize provisioning when a new device is activated within an enterprise.
I believe that MAM, or specifically, Mobile Application Portfolio Management(MAPM) is going to be as big and as important in 2013 as MDM was in 2012. The mantra “manage the application, not the device” will be chanted across IT departments. Why? Because organizations are discovering that MDM is only a part of the solution to enterprise mobility. MAM helps ensure that enterprise applications are delivered in a secure fashion with adequate compliance controls to meet the mobile lifestyles of end users.