Mobile Application Management
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Enterprises of every size and across industries have made mobile an important IT initiative. We have seen a rapid progression in the requirements associated with strategic enterprise mobility programs. What started as asset management requirements to address the device lifecycle management needs of employee-liable or corporate-liable mobile devices has expanded to address mobile application lifecycle and mobile application performance. All enterprises have to continue to address BYOD programs and the secure and compliant use of mobile devices. While BYOD programs make employees happier and more productive; many organizations are counting on the increased business efficiency, competitiveness, and top-line gains that they can realize from truly mobilizing their workers. Enterprise mobile applications, mobile content management, and secure document management are at the heart of such enterprise mobility programs.
Consumer apps are “going enterprise” and enterprises are developing in-house apps that change the way they do business. According to Jack Gold Associates, “The average enterprise worker will employ 8-10 mobile apps regularly due to their low cost, utility and ease of acquisition.” We call this trend the “Enterprization of apps.” These enterprise mobile applications range from productivity apps like Evernote and QuickOffice to purpose-built applications to optimize the guest check-in process at restaurants, control the logistics of pilot scheduling for air freight, or to reduce customer wait times through quicker valet vehicle retrievals at luxury hotels. The mobile information management capabilities afforded by such enterprise apps are providing businesses new ways to take advantage of corporate data and greater operational efficiencies. According to Aberdeen Research, 'best in class' organizations are three times as likely as all others to tie business process workflow to mobile.
Reining-in Mobile Apps
While the advantages of mobile apps are obvious, how should enterprises handle the creation, deployment, management and maintenance of these apps? Without the right level of control, mobile apps could represent substantial security risks for the organization. Access to corporate assets through 3rd party apps could lead to potentially unsafe operations on data and compliance violations. For example, each piece of personally identifiable information lost on a mobile device could cost $258 to mitigate according to the Ponemon Institute. With regulatory controls like PCI, HIPAA and SOX requiring businesses to address data safety regardless of the access point, it is important for businesses to gain control of apps and put a mobile information management strategy in place. The application lifecycle considerations involved in managing mobile apps include:
1. Use of third-party versus in-house apps
You will need to consider when to use third-party apps and when to develop custom in-house applications. Can third-party apps be secured without requiring changes to the underlying code? What it the process to make apps “business-ready?” Can apps be black-listed or white-listed to allow granular security rules for their safe use? Can a frequently use mobile enterprise application be supported through dedicated secure tunnels without requiring all-or-nothing VPN connectivity?
2. Data security and access control
Where will applications store data – will they make local copies that can be forwarded, printed or synched externally to cloud storage environments? What type of secure document management capabilities will you need and how can you prevent the data used by the apps from going beyond the control of the organization? Do you have the ability to automatically allow the data to be opened only in secure, “business-ready” applications? What are the compliance considerations for data access, information logging, and audit trails?
3. App deployment
You should consider how mobile apps will be deployed. Can they be automatically provisioned on employee-owned devices or corporate-owned devices? Can the enterprise app store handle volume purchasing programs (VPP)? How will policies control who gets which app? Can app deployment occur automatically when user/group roles change?
4. Mobile application performance and monitoring
How will mission-critical applications be supported? Will the application management solution address transaction continuity needs when connectivity is spotty with store-forward capabilities. Can the solution compress data to optimize network latency issues?
5. Support considerations
You will need to consider which group within the enterprise will support end-users with corporate apps. How will line-of-business applications requiring some knowledge of the app be supported? Does the solution provide capabilities to let IT helpdesk personnel handle device and app support needs?
6. Updating and maintenance
Many corporate apps and third-party apps are updated frequently. What are the rules on updating apps? Can the solution automatically push app updates to the devices?
7. App removal, end-of-support and decommissioning
Along with developing or deploying apps, you should consider how apps are removed from devices. What are the steps involved in decommissioning apps from when devices when they are no longer needed on the devices. How will the data associate with the app be cleaned up from the device?
Mobile Application Management
A robust mobile app platform and application management strategy built on top of a comprehensive device management foundation is needed for enterprises to address the strategic use of mobility. Having just one or the other is insufficient – Mobile device management solutions alone cannot address app and data security and performance considerations like identity management, encryption, data storage and quality of service considerations. Conversely, app management solutions fall short on addressing policy based decisions based on device ownership, platform, or device capabilities.
'Best in class' mobile application management requires more than launching an enterprise app catalog and providing device level security for mobile enterprise applications; It requires a solution that can help enterprises and their developers create apps that are enterprise-grade and built right the first time.
You need mobile enterprise applications that are actually built for mobile, with fast load times, low latency, and transaction speed and continuity even when network coverage is spotty. You need mobile apps that scale as you grow your mobile business. You need visibility into mobile application performance bottlenecks, troubleshooting for mobile outages and the confidence you get from mobile transaction continuity for auditing, reporting, and non-repudiation. And you need security, both inherent in the mobile apps and in terms of those apps’ access, connectivity, and data protection.
That’s why Zenprise has developed a mobile app platform that gives you tools and guidance as you develop and deploy apps that are high performance, let you troubleshoot and remediate problems, and offer you the utmost in application security—not just at deployment time but throughout the mobile enterprise application lifecycle.
Zenprise’s mobile application lifecycle elements include:
- Enterprise app store with support for Apple volume purchasing program
- Automatic app deployment
- Application blacklisting and whitelisting
- Mobile app performance, data compression, and transaction continuity
- Dedicated, encrypted Mobile App Tunnels
- Granular mobile app access control
- Mobile content management with Mobile DLP (Data Leakage Prevention) for Microsoft SharePoint and Office365
- Automated compliance based on enterprise-defined criteria
- Selective wiping of apps and their associated data