MAM: A holistic view of mobile applications

Due to the exponential increase in the sales of internet enabled Smartphone’s and Tablets, an environment has been created where people control their activities from their own hand held devices. Smartphones and Smart Devices have totally transformed the way mobile applications were accessed. The usage of mobile applications in our day-to-day activities has reached and touched altogether a new level.

Majority of the companies deemed mobile application development as an opportunity and started creating their own applications. Through these applications business or corporate information and data can be accessed by the employees from mobile devices anywhere, anytime. But, with the increased usage and deployment of apps as well as the promotion of BYOD (Bring your own devices) to access organization information, sensitive information has become vulnerable to leaks and attacks. In order to solve the issue of security, Mobile Application Management came into existence.

The main aim of MAM is to manage the mobile apps deployed among the employee devices. It helps to install, remove, and update the applications according to the defined policy. The main reason for using the MAM is that mobile devices lacks homogeneity. The organization has array of mobile devices and OS that create problem for IT people to manage the applications.

Key features of a Mobile Application Management:

  • MAM help the managers to view the application usage report
  • MAM helps to protect the organization data from viruses and tries to protect it.
  • It remotely update, remove, install the apps.
  • MAM delete the apps from a device, remotely, if the end user leaves the company or if a device is lost or stolen.
  • Notifies when the users tries to access the unauthorized apps.

DeviceMax Mobile Application Management solution provides organizations a holistic view of their mobile applications. With helps of this solution they can check and measure the application performance by means of analytic tools.

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Tips to adopt BYOD wisely

BYOD is one of such inescapable phenomenon that a corporate can either adopt, or get toppled by. Popularity of Smartphones, Tablets, Fablets etc are growing since workforce now is ready to spend their own money on devices to increase their work productivity. So , no corporate would like to object to that and restrain the increasing productivity. However, every single organization irrespective of size wants these employee devices that are gradually becoming part of their work culture to be secure and manageable. Hence, having good and robust policies along with MDM solutions ready are the key steps towards making BYOD enjoyable for a corporate.

Here are some tips that will help an enterprise/corporate make BYOD effective for them:

Determine clearly how much is acceptable-

Though BYOD means that every employee can bring his/ her own device but that does not mean at all that it has to be free for all. Clearly define as an organization what devices you intend to support, what services as a corporate you can provide. Can non-corporate owned devices be connected to the internal network or they can just connect their device to guest network? Can they use all apps available on their device for official purpose?

Determine clearly what is not acceptable-

BYOD along with facilitating the productivity raise certain security risks as well if not managed appropriately. So in order to mitigate the risks it’s very necessary to clearly determine what is not acceptable inside your organization. For example- As a CIO you are comfortable if workforce access the guest wireless network with non-corporate owned device, but it’s not permitted to use official network with personal devices or connect their personal laptops or tablets to the corporate Ethernet.

IT team needs to be clear in their approach that they want to use for BYOD while simultaneously decide and declare what is not acceptable.

Determine if where can offer support and what’s your limit-

They  in BYOD implies clearly that it is not corporate property, but official IT support desk is certainly going to get flooded with questions as soon as BYOD gets a green signal. Users will have questions like How to set up my official email on device? How can I access of the Intranet? How to install that app?  Myriad of platforms out there is going to make it very challenging for your support desk to provide support for all.

So before you open gates for all devices clearly define and decide what as an organizational support desk you are comfortable with and clearly set expectations with the workforce.

Set up and announce your device policy-

Above three steps discussed can be made clear to the workforce through the Device Policy. Create and announce the corporate device policy which points what devices corporate will be supported, how these personal devices can be used inside corporate or for corporate work, the range of apps that are allowed, and just how far the support desk can offer its support for personal devices.

Spend time on the policy before making it public with the workforce. Make it clear to your work domain that this is what you want your workforce to spend time on so that every point is clear to them. Make sure that the policy is in written format and easily comprehensible. Make it clear that as a corporate you want employees to take privilege of BYOD yet avoid the negative impact it can place on productivity. Make it clear to the workforce that the corporate policy is applicable for personal devices as well.

Explain Security clearly-

BYOD can impact security, so make sure you talk about that clearly. Users of Exchange can use Exchange ActiveSync policies to lock devices with passwords, screen locks etc, and remotely wipe a lost device. Every device does not support hardware encryption, so as a corporate you have to decide whether you require that or not.  If required then, how are going to address all those BYOD devices that won’t be allowed. Device policy covers remote wipe and your workforce should be fully aware that they are responsible for their device backups, since BYOD devices will have personal content on them as well.

Assess and choose the solution-

If you are determined that you want to go for Mobile Device Management (MDM) solution, plan an in-house evaluation session to be fully aware of the product and sure that it fits in your corporate working environment. Make sure to take the trial of the product first to test it before you buy it.

Start with a small division-

Start BYOD phase wise and conduct a pilot. For example IT teams generally have devices that support BYOD so start phase one with your IT team, then phase two with a team of limited number may be the main management team. So that you are comfortable with all the aspects of BYOD before you open it for everyone.

Evaluate –

BYOD and MDM both are solutions that need constant consideration. Both the solutions require constant evaluations to check what works, what needs to be changed and what needs to be omitted. Make it clear to workforce as well these solution are under constant evaluation changes are to be expected to ensure that the solution is functioning effectively for both users and the company.

So now you have a list of handy tips to help you begin project BYOD for your enterprise. BYOD offers significant advantages to the business and can make a big impact on workforce productivity too. Hence utilize BYOD in the best interests of the enterprise to make sure it’s a success rather than a burden.

MAM much more than just a hyped App store

With the growing use of mobile enterprise apps and rapidly revolutionizing usage patterns, enterprises today are gradually shifting from the stern security approach of locking down the devices to a more holistic approach of securing specific apps. Here Mobile Application Management comes into picture with its set of tools and technologies to deal with the growing mobile application usage concerns and security.

The usage pattern of Apps is changing inside Enterprise. As per Gartner 2013 is going to be the year of Enterprise Mobile Applications and Enterprise App Store too is listed as  one of the key tech trends for 2013. More than 70 billion mobile app downloads will be done from app stores every year by 2014. So, the time has come when we should start paying more attention to mobile apps and its management (MAM) to manage & secure the Apps that can access the utmost expensive asset of an enterprise – “Data”.

Enterprise will have to stop treating MAM as a just another enterprise app store or a client app catalog and understand it thoroughly.  MAM is an enhanced set of tools and technologies that focuses on application security and its management. The main vital fields of the MAM are: Application Security and Policy Management tools, Enterprise App store, Application analytics and reporting.

In spite of the growing popularity of the MAM many still consider MAM futile if they have an MDM solution. However enterprise needs both MAM and MDM to put forward a strong and beneficial mobile enterprise strategy.

Enterprise will have to grasp the fact that with the rise in BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) landscape, focus is growing more towards on application protection and data security as the device used might be employee owned but not necessarily company managed. MDM secures the device but MAM helps to secure the information lying on the device or accessed from the device. Thus the need of the hour for the enterprise is both device and app protection.

If MAM and MDM are still confusing you; just follow and mug the main rules:-

MAM cannot replace MDM and vice versa.

MDM single handedly cannot make up for the MAM needs.

Both MAM and MDM deal with security and protection but from different angles.

Both MDM and MAM are essential to make BYOD, an advantage of an enterprise.

Both MAM and MDM can coexist.

Is MDM Solutions a need, Why corporate is still shying away?

A recent study by B2B International underlined and emphasized the sluggish entry of MDM software (mobile device management) into corporate. Even though entire industry is discussing and swearing on BYOD programs, still there is a very bleak percentage of corporate adopting it and making it part of their day to day working. Reports from B2B International highlights that just 11 percent of the companies they surveyed have adopted a MDM solution to make sure that mobile phones and tablets of workforce are being used in accordance with the company security policies.

This problem is supposed to grow in the coming years, as the BYOD trend still nowhere indicates chances of slow down as per Gartner. Gartner even has gone ahead and predicted that in next five years, 65 percent of enterprises are going to adopt an MDM solution but contrary to Gartner the B2B international study indicates that corporate doesn’t seem in any mood to tackle the challenges of securing corporate data on mobile devices.

We believe both the studies are true to their domains- as BYOD is increasing undoubtedly inside corporate and MDM adoption is sluggish as well.

Prime reason for this sluggishness or reluctance of corporate to adopt MDM is too much of information and variety in the market. MDM has created such hype in the market that everyone is loudly talking about it. There is a long list of vendors who are offering it ranging from brand names to new names to small and unknown names.

The CIO’s or the IT Managers recognize the growing BYOD presence and are eager to manage these untamed devices, but too much information available in the market is confusing them and making their decision making process and power slow.

So, corporate today is in need of education and awareness. Here are the main five tips that can help corporate choose the right Mobile Device Management solution for their organization:

Single solution cannot help all: – Every organization has diversity in terms of departments, functions, hierarchy and now in terms of devices used inside an organization like smartphones, tablets, and other devices.  All these different set of users need to be supported for different set of data that needs to be protected, different applications that needs to be deployed etc. So a single MDM solution no way will be able to meet all these diverse needs.

Segment the users: – Organizations generally assume that BYOD and MDM both have to be adopted for entire organization. However, gradual change is good for everyone. Organizations should start BYOD from small sections and spread it inside entire organization in parts gradually. For example, senior executives and main departments like sales force should be initially allowed Bring Your Own Device. Deploying solution in smaller chunks too will solve the problem and reduce the abrupt cost.

Deploy different solutions for different purpose: – Like we earlier discuss that a single solution is always in adept to meet the needs of all users. Hence after the segmentation of user into groups, multiple solutions should be deployed to cater different needs as per distinct set of users.

Devices or applications?  There is a split in what users want to manage- Application or Device?  Lot of information with differing opinions is available on this split as well and even industry giants are broken up on this issue. Certain Corporate have adopted a mix of both the solutions from different vendors who are best in their domains.

In nutshell, MDM solution fall in set of confusing market that pressurize corporate and CIO’s to take a cautious approach towards deployment. However we are sure that with experience adoption of Mobile Device Management is surely going to accelerate.

Retail Kiosks, a unconventional technology to keep customer engaged

The retail ecosystem is currently going through a spectacular era of transition. Large number of business are drifting towards online stores, retailers too are looking for similar impressive unconventional methods to increase their sales and to keep the customers engaged while offering an enhanced user experience. One of these unconventional methods is the Retail kiosk.

Retail kiosks are interactive in nature and last few years have shown a noticeable growth in the number of kiosks installed in the retail sector as business houses are adapting different ways to escalate sales by enhancing the customer’s user experience. Equipping consumers with helpful and pertinent information that he/she is looking for through retail kiosks at the moment of choice creates a positive buying environment for the customer while simultaneously creating a valuable shopping experience.

All thanks to the Internet and Google, consumer has become so addicted to access information on demand as and when required. This addiction has become part of their daily lives and hence they look for such options while they go for shopping at retail stores as well. No consumer today wants to wait for his/her turn to get noticed by the salesman and listen to his outdated and less informed sales pitch.

Information on the finger tips trend is all set to accelerate hence making it almost mandatory for large and small retailers to take advantage of new emerging technologies with huge range and variety. Retail Kisoks can be used in various ways: from multi-touch user interfaces to solutions for assembling user information.

However a retailer before selecting a kiosk should consider various important points:-

–   The level of functionality that a retailers requires as per their business preferences and needs like if  they require the kiosk designed to provide information only or to they want an upgraded version where they can take the customer through information giving section to information collection section to the transaction section finally.

–   The ‘quality’ of the user experience that a retailer intends to offer their customers. For example ease of use and the satisfaction level.

–   Then there are some critical elements like reliability of the kiosk and availability of after sales services like the ‘uptime’ expected and maintenance, calibration or repair callouts

–    The ability of the kiosks to operate in harsh environment and peak footfall time.

–    The ability of the kiosk to increase and expand scope of operation as and when required.

Enterprise Mobility Solutions Predictions for the 2013

2012 was, till date, undoubtedly a revolutionary year in the sphere of enterprise mobility and bring your own device (BYOD). The rapid proliferation of enterprise friendly devices and apps have forced the CIOs and business leaders to restructure their mobility plans for 2013. MDM and MAM solutions will continue to strengthen in 2013 giving rise to countless productivity hours from the remote and agile workforces.

Certain trends that will define the enterprise mobility in the coming year-

Augmented acceptance of BYOD

Since 2008, BYOD concept has come a long way and has undergone substantial changes due to an increased need of productivity from remote or mobile employees. This trend in coming months is expected to increase as the organizations are getting more comfortable with employees bringing in their personal devices and enhanced security mobile device management solutions. The explosion of newer devices and apps in the market has proliferated the BYOD trend since employees are endorsing and encouraging the Consumerization of IT.

Adoption of Cloud based Mobile Solutions

The mobility and cloud computing work best in combination, when it comes to generating smart enterprise mobility solutions as per CIOs and mobility evangelists. Cloud services control mobile devices amicably. The capabilities and access of this virtualized environment helps mobility solutions to work well. These prominent reasons encourage the organizations to use cloud based MDM and MAM capabilities for security purpose.

Development in Enterprise relevant Apps & Devices                                                                                                   

Due to large variety of Smartphone’s and Tablets in the market specifically for enterprise users, the mobility scenario is expected to increase with advanced technology supporting devices and its features. Owing to the increase in mobility sphere demand of MAM & MDM solutions of the devices and the enterprise applications as raised.

Importance of Mobile Device Management Solution

The rising concept of BYOD (bring your own device) is driving the demand for mobile device management in many companies. Nowadays there is increase in the number of personal mobile devices being used in enterprise like healthcare, insurance, education etc. But use of these devices is also posing security challenge to the IT departments. According to the latest survey, covering almost 4,640 organizations shows that 77% use of mobile devices in the workplace is important to achieve business objectives. Companies are aware of the security risks but only 39% have security controls in place to mitigate them.

To overcome the security issues, mobile device management solution is the need of the hour. There are many in the market that offers the mobile device management solutions but the enterprise has to select the best as per their own organization needs and goals. Benefits of deploying the mobile device management are:

  • Mobile device management solution helps the enterprise to bifurcate the corporate data from personal data on an employee’s mobile device.
  • Implementation of this solution helps to reduce the IT cost
  • This solution gives the advantage to the IT as they can draft the special security policies for the users individually.
  • Mobile device management solution helps the organization to wipe out the corporate data if the device is stolen or lost.
  • It helps to manage all the applications installed on the mobile device.

DeviceMax Mobile Device Management solution brings you an end-to-end security, enterprise-grade architecture, world-class service and support across major mobile platforms type, including Android, Blackberry and iOS.