Mobile application management (MAM) enables companies to deliver and administer enterprise software to end users’ corporate and personal smartphones and tablets. Considering the fact that business and other users are increasingly embracing mobile devices and using enterprise applications, MAM is going to be an inevitable component of every company’s IT strategy.
What Is MAM?
MAM, or mobile application management, is actually a special set of services and applications which control and dictate the access for many mobile applications either developed internally or commercially. It is used as a business setting for tablets and smartphones. Nowadays, mobile applications are omnipresent, so it’s not possible to avoid the risks associated with them. In this scenario, mobile application management provides some sort of control over this risk by enabling the administrator to supervise and protect the data from various apps.
While enterprises were adopting smartphones which provided them with various features like email and collaboration, they didn't necessarily consider the proper way to manage all the data that came with it. MAM was introduced in 2010, for optimizing business processes properly and utilizing new smartphone technology fully, for the betterment of the business.
The main phenomenon behind this application management system is the increasing use of personal mobile devices as mini offices, and the need to secure all the data properly for further use. When you switch on the enterprise mode in your personal device, MAM will quickly enable the corporate IT applications. As a result of this, you will be able to access or restrict the business data, download different kinds of obligatory applications, and remove the cache consisting of important business data when you leave the company or if you lose your device.
How Is MAM Being Incorporated?
The concept of MAM is becoming very well known, and finds applications in many spheres. It is not limited to business use only. Many organizations are using the concept of MAM to increase their productivity. An example is MAM increasing the sales of many online shopping sites. MAM has been incorporated in the working of those firms which aim to provide the best of services to their customers, and in return gain the highest reviews and revenues. MAM, when incorporated with the traditional systems of a firm, increases the productivity of the firm’s employees by increasing their mobility and speed. Many companies like GlaxoSmithKline are using such integrations to increase their employee’s mobility and quality of work.
A good MAM system, when properly incorporated with a BYOD (bring your own device) system, can result in a highly secured workplace where the data constantly remains safe. When MAM systems integrate with schools and universities, the students and professors get a chance to solve many kinds of real-world challenges.
Every enterprise believes MAM is good for controlling, managing and securing the data used for different kinds of business services in mobile devices. There are many different types of security issues, however, that can be faced by this system. Some of these are leakage of data due to malicious apps or data stolen by friends and family. There are many more obstacles which have to be eradicated by this system in order to produce a secure network.
A few of those challenges and their solutions are explained below:
The heavy usage of mobile devices has led many enterprises throughout the world to adopt the BYOD concept. But, this entails various kinds of security problems. These security problems can be solved by containerization. In this process, the enterprise wraps up their internal mobile applications in a secure space which prevents data loss. Containerization can be implemented using an environment with hybrid development features, like IBM Worklight.
Application Deployment and Development
Enterprises develop their own internal application and modify it according to the needs of their business. So it’s very important that the developer builds secure apps using tools like app wrapping and the proper software development kit. After the development of the internal apps, they are kept in an app store, which organizes the data in a catalog according to the role of employee, group and business. This can also be risky, so the organization should put security access on every file. The administrator should also try to restructure the management process, purchase process and distribution process of the apps properly.
Impact on Traditional Application Environment
The impact of MAM on traditional environments has been tremendous. More and more companies are adopting this system. Previously, employees had to work for long hours at their offices and they all used the computers provided by their office. But now, times have changed. Now, employees can work at any time, with any device and on any network without compromising the security of their company’s private and confidential data. They can use their own devices and can integrate their personal and professional life to give their best performance by collaborating effectively with their coworkers and interacting with them. This also increases their mobility and speed as they can work from any corner of the world.
After having read so much about MAM, let’s see an example of it in action. Do you know how the city of Bonn, Germany benefits from MAM, with respect to an increase in the satisfaction of its citizens and reduction in costs of the process?
Traffic supervisors in Bonn used to have to carry a small mobile device to manually record any kind of parking violation. These devices were then collected and synchronized with the main server at the end of the day. After this, the parking violation tickets were created and sent by email or postal mail. This whole process was quite costly for the city, especially in cases where the violation happened to be very small and the resultant fine was small as well. In the case of small violations, it was noticed that the cost of scanning and generating a ticket turned out to be more costly than the fine. Moreover, if a car's owner called the authorities to inquire about details regarding the ticket he/she found on his/her car, the authorities didn’t have any details to answer questions, as the generation of such tickets could take up to four to five days.
However, at present, a new solution has been developed in Bonn, which is a live example of how MAM can modify the capability of any ordinary smartphone in the most efficient ways. This solution was incorporated in the BlackBerry platform and this includes a data synchronization service which works in real time. So, as soon as the supervisor launches a ticket, the data starts to get synchronized with the server, and within a few seconds, full records are available on the authorities' server. And if anyone calls to inquire, authorities can simply answer any questions regarding the issue.
Gathering evidence has also become much easier now, with features like GPS data and integrated cameras. Now a traffic supervisor can give a detailed ticket with the specific record number and payment details. It has been noticed, following the implementation of the new system, that 40 percent of the ticket holders pay their fine before a second notice from the authorities. This further saves around 40 percent of the cost. This shows that just by using MAM, one can optimize the efficiency and cut down on costs that may be involved.
The business use of smartphones isn’t limited to sending and receiving emails or using the calendar to schedule tasks anymore. Every business is slowly realizing the importance of good mobile management techniques and is adopting management strategies in their own fashion. This is ultimately leading to a “free” workplace where everyone can basically work from anywhere.