OK, today’s missive is going to be rather theoretical and pensive…perhaps even more of a rhetorical question. As the world of enterprise mobility continues to evolve at its frenetic pace, the conversations are shifting from one centered on mobile device management to one more centered on mobile application management (and ultimately to mobile information management and mobile risk management). Mobile application management is a wonderfully necessary thing. Heck, we’ve been talking about the matter for years here. I was recently having a conversation regarding mobile application management that had me thinking about the use cases for MAM.
The overwhelming majority of the conversations that I have been a part of around mobile application management have been focused on two primary scenarios. The first scenario is the most obvious one….deploying and managing mobile applications to the white collar workforce onto their mobile devices, regardless of who purchased or owns the device (hence why I say that BYOD is not the core issue around MAM). The second “obvious” scenario comes when a tablet is being used in a kiosk environment. The device is locked down (literally) and is used exclusively for one task and one task only. You still need the MAM solution so that you can deploy and update the application as need be, but the bottom line is that it has one specific use case.
So the two scenarios are focused on a specific user, or a specific use case. What if the mobile device were used for multiple use cases by multiple users with multiple roles? Think of it as a new use case for blue or grey collar workers. How does that work?
I’ll argue it’s a different flavor of mobile application management, but one that has a unique twist because of the fact that the various users may potentially have various roles that will be predicated on whatever directory services group they may be a part of. Heck, the users may not even be full time employees. I feel like it’s turning into a N-factorial model for mobility management (read: very complicated).
So in theory, you would want to have a way to authenticate the user and then provide them the applications that are tailored to their needs and then when another user signs in to that device, they may have different apps or different levels of access to corporate data in that same app. Applications get installed and removed as need be…multiple times a day. See where this is going and the ensuing complexity?
Hmmm…so does this almost require some sort of “container” model where you log in to an app or persona, and whether via something a la VDI or RDC, you get the applications and access to the data that was tailored for your credentials (and hopefully needs). It’s almost like the Windows for Workgroups or original NT model where you had your desktop at any corporate terminal that you logged in to. Wasn’t that hence the grandfather of (mobile) application and information management?
Funny how the more things change, the more they stay the same….
Feel free to tell me I am completely off my rocker or that I have completely misunderstood what mobile application management is all about. Feedback is always welcome.