Mobile device management (MDM) refers to the administration of mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, in the workplace. Administrators require enrollment of each user’s mobile device within a system of record for identity management, device security measures, and some app* and data management capabilities.
Mobile device management is best suited for managing and securing corporate-owned devices that are provided to direct employees. In highly secure environments, device-level control and governance is often necessary. Distribution of custom mobile apps is usually minimal with MDM.
*As you will learn in this article, not all mobile app management (MAM) is created equal.
Mobile Device Management Challenges
Lack of Granular Controls on Devices
Mobile device management is architected to manage at the device-level and requires the installation of a device profile to enable any controls. Enterprise mobility quickly evolved beyond the commoditized devices to the specialized apps and data distributed to those devices. Enterprise mobility management (EMM) solutions that are MDM-based cannot isolate control to individual apps. With device management, in order to manage, secure, and distribute apps, mobile devices must also be under management.
Device Enrollment Limits Reach in the Extended Enterprise
The device enrollment requirement also limits the reach of mobile device management. As mobility programs proliferate in the extended enterprise, not all devices can or should be enrolled because they belong to users outside the purview of corporate IT. These users — for which device enrollment isn’t feasible or desired, such as contractors, field techs, dealers, or BYOD users — simply can’t or won’t enroll their personal device. These unmanaged devices leave a lot of potential users out of the reach of device management.
How To Enhance Mobile Device Management
When organizations need to either implement app-level security and governance or enable mobile workers with unmanaged devices, they find the “app management” provided by an MDM solution does not meet their needs due to the aforementioned device enrollment requirements.
However, there is a solution in market that addresses these MDM challenges: stand-alone mobile application management. A Blue Hill analysis of the industry revealed Apperian to be the only true stand-alone and best mobile application management (MAM) and enterprise app store solution.
Apperian MAM® provides fine-grained, app-level security and management for enterprise mobile apps, and each app is securely deployed without requiring device enrollment, and without requiring code modification or use of an SDK. Mobile app security capabilities, such an per-app VPN, data encryption, and data wipe, protect data even if device-level security is bypassed. This means you can safely deploy corporate apps and information to any device – whether it’s managed or not. Additionally, Apperian provides a workflow for managing apps throughout their entire lifecycle, from onboarding to deployment to retiring.
If a mobile device management solution is already in place, Apperian can work alongside it, no need to rip and replace. While mobile device management is architected at the device level, Apperian mobile application management is architected at the app-level and does not require additional infrastructure.
History of Mobile Device Management
Mobile device management grew to prominence shortly after the first smartphones entered the enterprise in the 2000’s. IT and data security professionals had grown accustomed to the closed, locked-down approach of provisioning corporate-owned Blackberries to employees, so they sought a similar solution for smartphones. For corporate-provisioned devices, especially in highly secure environments, mobile device management is a first line of defense. Today’s mobile-first organizations are getting more value from their mobility programs with an app-centric approach, while simultaneously increasing their security posture.
In 2014, Gartner issued the first Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) Magic Quadrant, shifting away from only the term ‘mobile device management.’ As defined by Gartner, an EMM suite includes mobile device, identity, content, and application management.