Mobility is a reality of today’s business environment. Look around and you’ll see people working on smartphones and tablets at coffee shops, on trains, planes and yes, even at their kids’ soccer games. While mobility is a boon for employee productivity, it has created security and management challenges for IT organizations.
Many companies turned to Mobile Device Management (MDM), expecting it to be a panacea for enterprise mobile security, only to find that relying solely on MDM was simply not enough. While MDM is important, there is more to an enterprise mobility strategy than just managing devices. Enter Mobile Application Management (MAM). Today, companies are broadening their mobile strategy to include developing, deploying, securing and managing mobile apps.
If you’re wondering whether you need to add MAM to your mobile strategy, here are five reasons why you should:
1. It’s about the apps, people: For all the talk about mobile devices, the reality is that it’s about the apps. Mobile apps and the data they access are what drive mobile productivity and efficiency. Today’s tech savvy workforce isn’t waiting for IT to give them mobile apps either. Employees are increasingly using whatever apps they want for file sync and share, note taking, communication, and more to maximize their job performance. According to Forrester, 25% of employees globally are bringing their own mobile apps to make up for the missing apps they need to get their jobs done.
2. Protect corporate data, regardless of device ownership: Support for Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) is the new normal. However, companies are struggling with how best to secure corporate data on personally owned devices. According to Gartner, 20% of BYOD programs will fail because IT is trying to implement MDM solutions that are too restrictive. Restricting what users can do on their devices and threatening to wipe data – both corporate and personal – makes users leery. Instead, organizations are turning to mobility solutions that separate personal and corporate data, allowing IT to retain control of corporate data while leaving personal apps and data alone.
3. Maintain user privacy: MAM protects employees from the enterprise. It sounds odd because so often the focus is on IT preventing corporate data from mixing with unauthorized personal apps. Yet, the reverse is also true. With MAM, personal apps and data stay personal. Employees, partners and consultants can rest easy knowing that corporate IT doesn’t have visibility or control over personal stuff. That’s also good for IT organizations, which don’t want the added liability and overhead of managing personal devices.
4. Simplify the multi-platform headache: Today’s mobile device diversity is an IT management migraine. IDC research indicates that the enterprise device landscape continues to become increasingly fragmented with IT departments supporting multiple mobile operating systems. These operating systems all provide different API interfaces and security management capabilities making it practically impossible to ensure consistent policies and controls. MAM solutions, like Symantec App Center, simplify this multi-platform headache by providing consistent security and management across the mix of devices, operating systems and ownership models within the enterprise.
5. Expand mobility to the extended enterprise: Ultimately, mobility is about is about boosting mobile productivity and transforming business processes across the extended enterprise of employees, partners, suppliers, contractors/consultants and customers. However, for a variety of logistical and regulatory reasons, a device-based approach to mobile security just isn’t feasible. For example, consultants, suppliers and partners will not give your IT organization control over their tablets and smartphones. Only when apps and data can be protected and managed independent of device-level controls, can organizations broaden support to the entire enterprise and truly reap the benefits of mobility.
Today’s mobile business environment requires a holistic approach to security and management. A comprehensive mobile strategy extends beyond managing devices to protecting the apps and information.