Mobile Device Management (MDM) and Mobile Application Development (MAM) are still relatively new solutions for businesses to be adopting, but as the use of mobile technology in the workplace keeps increasing, more organisations are looking for ways to manage their mobile workforce.
According to Antenna Software, 43% of companies are currently working on a mobile app for their customers (B2C) but perhaps more surprisingly, 42% are working on an internal app for their employees (B2E). This shows how much importance organisations are placing on enterprise apps to help improve their internal business processes and structures.

As well as an increased demand for internal business applications, there has also been a dramatic surge in employees bringing their own devices into the workplace (BYOD). A 2012 study by IDG Connect discovered over 60% of Europeans were using their iPads at work to gain access to enterprise-related information; this movement in employees bringing their own devices has led to corporations needing a cross-platform system that will manage their sensitive data securely.

The threat of data loss is huge to any company and mobile management is an efficient way to manage the risk effectively. Although security is a major consideration in mobile management, it is one of many processes involved in device and application management. Other mobile management processes include (but are not limited to) app distribution, tracking, updating and deletion, as well as push notifications, hosting, development and distribution. These services are available to alleviate IT departments of the difficult task of securely managing a diversified mobile workplace.

Mubaloo, one of the UK’s leading app development companies, often advises clients on mobile management strategies and offers guidance on what to look for in a good mobile management system. The features of management solutions are vast so it’s vital that IT departments choose a system that is most suitable to their business requirements and that meets the needs of the company. There are lots of choices and features you can choose from but as a company you may not need or want all of them, make sure you pick a solution that meets your business needs. Always choose a solution that is constantly evolving to keep up with fast-paced mobile industry.

For example, MDM was the only solution available for companies up until recently, but with the advance in enterprise applications and BYOD, organisations are looking for ways to manage the software on the devices (as well as the hardware). Therefore more companies are looking at both MDM and MAM solutions. According to Gartner’s Magic Quadrant, MDM companies are quickly adding MAM solutions to their list of services; confirming both processes are needed for the full protection devices in the enterprise.

For businesses who encourage BYOD, Mubaloo suggests a cross-platform management solution to ensure all platforms and operating systems are protected. If you issue corporate liable devices a cross-platform solution may not be necessary, but bear in mind the steady of increase of BYOD trends.

Another recommendation Mubaloo offer clients is to opt for an integrated and flexible device/application management solution. Managing the device as a whole works well, but for employees who bring their own devices, putting their phone or tablet in the control of their employer may seem a bit daunting. Application management allows corporations to have complete ownership of all enterprise apps on an employee’s device while leaving all of their personal data alone. This way, employees don’t have to worry about their photos or text messages being accessed or deleted by their employer.

BYOD also works well with application management because corporations can control every aspect of enterprise apps on a user’s device. For example, application management allows the delivery of push notifications to an employer’s device and also allows for deletion of an app or group of apps should an employer leave the company. The application management process also allows for easy distribution of apps through dedicated enterprise app stores and manages all sensitive data within apps ensuring high standards of security.

Device management is essential for making sure all hardware is performing to its expected specifications and configurations, as well as allowing organisations to remotely manage employees’ devices. This method is useful for companies who offer devices to staff as all software and hardware can be kept up-to-date, password protected and wiped remotely if lost or stolen.

As more sensitive data is accessed from mobile devices, enterprises are having to find solutions to data security, as well as ways to improve their internal IT infrastructure and make it more efficient. Mobile management solutions are moving beyond security to hosting, cloud services, tracking, development and administering applications.

Before finding an appropriate mobile management solution, organisations need to create a strong mobile policy that clearly outlines all access requirements for employees. Without a mobile policy in place, businesses are going fall behind their competitors.

By Clair O’Neill

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