Another day, another networking event here in rainy dreary Boston. Yesterday, I attended a networking workshop on enterprise mobility where one of the speakers was talking about mobile device management. Candidly, these types of events can be a mixed bag….and typically that’s dependent on the quality of the speaker(s). Unfortunately, this event had a speaker who, in my mind, was missing the most basic understanding of mobility management. I guess it’s time for a quasi Public Service Announcement.
If you have ever heard me speak, you know I regularly talk about the six different components of enterprise mobility management and that I make a specific distinction between mobility management and mobile device management. I feel like I am on a soap box every time I do this because there are so many people out there who use the term mobile device management as an umbrella or catch-all phrase. That does no one any good in my opinion.
The short version of the story is that the speaker was cautioning people that when they were considering their mobile device management choices, they had to also ensure proper application distribution and management. Ugh. Talk about confusing two very important, albeit distinctly different topics.
What is so hard to understand about this? Mobile device managment is about managing the mobile devices….and mobile application management is….hold on….about managing applications. I get the impression that the speaker has never looked at the seven layers of the OSI model.
Application management is the strategy and process around developing/procuring, securing, deploying, accessing configuring, updating and removing (business) applications from mobile devices used by the employees…notice how I didn’t say an employee’s devices, because it could be some ruggedized devices that are used by various employees.
Device management is about configuring the mobile devices and making sure that the IT policies that have been set up remain intact, as well as monitoring the overall status and health of the device.
Here’s another way to look at it. When you go from one device to another….say an Android device to an iPhone (or whatever)…are you going to want to have access to the business applications you had on your Android device on your new device? What if you are on the same device and your IT department is pushing out an updated version of the business intelligence tool you have grown so dependent on, because they finally got around to adding the feature you asked for nine months ago. Both are perfect examples of mobile application management. There are others of course, but hopefully you get the drift.
So do me a favor. The next time someone starts talking about “device management,” can you please stop them and ask them what they mean by that…and make sure we’re all talking about the same thing? Thanks!