Do you remember the whole glass half-full/glass half-empty mindset? That’s what came to mind today when I saw an article talking about what Citrix might be thinking as it defines and refines its mobile application management strategy. I say this particularly in the context of new markets that are often ill-defined and even more frequently ill-understood…ya, I know, I just made up a word (it should have been misunderstood, but it just sounded cooler).
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See, I have a theory. When there are burgeoning markets, there are two things that happen. First, more and more people start talking about it (which is a good thing) and second, more and more people don’t understand what the burgeoning market/trend is all about (which is not a good thing). We saw this with Mobile Device Management, we are seeing this currently with BYOD/CoIT/COPE and I think we are starting to see this with Mobile Application Management (MAM).
Ahh…the pains of understanding a growing and evolving market.
So, I wanted to share with you all once again what Mobile Application Management is. The common misconception is that if you have an enterprise app store, you have a Mobile Application Management solution/strategy. You don’t. In fact, I’ll argue that the Enterprise App Store is to MAM what BYOD is to CoIT. It’s the lighting rod/poster child but not the totality. Think of it as the tip of the iceberg…except for the fact that you are not steering the HMS Titanic.
Mobile Application Management is far more than just having your own private app store. It’s about strategically deploying apps across your organization through rule-based policies…tied directly into your Active Directory/LDAP infrastructure. It’s also about removing them should the employee leave the company or change roles within the organization. It’s also about pushing out updates in a seamless fashion. It’s about also ensuring that the applications are secure (separate but inextricably linked to mobile application development). It’s about having a strategy for deploying commercial third party applications to your employee’s mobile devices. It’s also about measuring and monitoring those applications and making sure that the custom apps that your organization is developing are actually being used and creating value for your employees….think of it as Business Intelligence for your mobile applications.
The author of the article I referenced at the beginning of this missive did say one thing:
You could almost think of mobile application management as a form of app virtualization for cell phones.
Frankly, I have no idea what this statement means and would argue that this fundamentally goes back to the increasing misunderstanding of burgeoning markets.
In any case….I just wanted to call to your attention the excitement around mobile application management. It’s an exciting and burgeoning space. We’re just going to need to make sure we tread the waters lightly to ensure that as this market evolves, we all understand it correctly together.