Another day, another airplane. Well, at least that’s how I feel today. Yesterday, I was in New Orleans at the App-Solutely Enterprise event and today I am on my way to Las Vegas for the Interop show. Don’t these trade groups know it’s not nice to make us have to pick one versus the other, and that it only makes us (OK, me…) more cranky to have to be in two places at once? I digress…
I wanted to spend a little bit of time today talking about apps – mobile apps that is. Given the fact that there was an entire event yesterday dedicated to mobile enterprise applications and there are a couple of sessions in Las Vegas on mobile applications, I think my employer may have been on to something when it said that 2012 would be the year of mobile application management.
Yesterday’s App-Solutely enterprise did in my (highly biased) opinion a very thorough job of covering most, if not all, facets of what it means to mobilize your organization with apps. The keynote talked about strategy and WHO should be involved in the decision making process, touching specifically on the need to have a complete mobile vision that goes beyond mobile device management to one that includes mobile application management (which is an area that some “experts” still don’t understand).
Moving from understanding the business objectives of WHY you want to have your employees use mobile applications, we had two presentations relating to the HOW….and specifically talking about one of the most commonly asked questions: to MEAP or not to MEAP. Oh, sorry, our good friends at Gartner, have chosen to recast the MEAP term into MADP or Mobile Application Development Platform or MAD-P as I have already heard it called on more than one occasion. The short answer on to MEAP or not to MEAP was that if your organization is looking to build more than a handful of applications across various mobile OSs….you should at the very least strongly consider that option.
Moving on from the HOW, we had two discussions around mobile application security and the repercussions of not properly securing your mobile applications. Trust me, this is not a good thing. So the question is WHEN do you need to invest more heavily in securing the mobile application and the data that is passing through your device?
OK….so the apps are built, and they have been built securely. WHERE do you find them – especially if they are internal apps? Well, you probably are going to need a cross platform enterprise app store. The key here is that, as explained by two leading mobile application management companies, an App Store is not a mobile application management strategy (see more here about that).
From there, we transitioned to a session on measuring the success of your mobile application(s). Did you know that by certain counts, only 1 in 4 internal mobile application (and 1 in 5 B2C) projects is deemed a success? By the way WHAT does it mean to have a successful application? Well, like in many other scenarios, it depends. It depends on the purpose of the application and how it’s promoted and what kind of feedback loop you have in place for updates and iterations.
We finished the day with panel comprised of end-users and a leading enterprise analyst. It was a good (long) day that gave people the opportunity to get a complete view on what it means to mobilize their businesses through apps and some of the challenges they should try to avoid.