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Jan 28, 2015

Secure Enterprise App Distribution & Management

secure enterprise app distribution

Mobile innovation is changing the way that companies are interacting with customers and getting work done. Still, while the greatest value from mobile is drawn from the apps and data being used, many organizations continue to struggle with how best to handle mobile app distribution in a way that drives adoption of the key mobile apps.

According to a June 2014 CompTIA study of 400 IT and business executives in the U.S. who are directly involved in setting or directing mobile policies, 55% of respondent companies have implemented some form of bring your own device (BYOD) policies while just 30% of organizations have a formal mobile policy in place. A major challenge for many organizations is how BYOD conflicts with the historical approach to mobile management — mobile device management (MDM). With MDM, administrators are able to lock and wipe apps and data from devices. This doesn’t sit well with employees who are rightfully concerned about having personal data accessed and removed from their own devices. Meanwhile, many organizations continue to struggle with low mobile app adoption rates. More than three-quarters of users refuse to download an app if they don’t trust its security and privacy protections, according to a study conducted by TRUSTe.

A comprehensive mobile management and security model may use a blend of MDM and mobile application management (MAM®) to address app distribution and adoption needs. MDM-based systems can be used to distribute apps to corporate-owned or corporate-controlled devices, while MAM-based systems place the security and management at the app-level. MAM-based approaches typically offer much richer levels of app management functionality that will benefit any setting, and they are often the very best method for deployments where mobile device management approaches are not possible or desired, such as BYOD, contract workers and other unmanaged devices. This approach can secure both the device as well as sensitive corporate data and apps through data encryption, corporate authentication, and app wrapping, a technique where apps are wrapped with security and business policies based on each user’s role, location, timing, etc.

A MAM platform can enable administrators to boost app adoption through an app distribution approach that’s both user friendly and secure. A MAM platform that includes a user friendly enterprise app store can make it easy for employees, contract workers, and business partners to find and download the apps that can help them do their jobs more effectively while ensuring the protection of apps and data – without forcing users to adopt an MDM profile first. An app distribution strategy makes it easier for workers to find and download apps while providing them the confidence that apps and data will be protected will help pave the way for consistently high adoption rates.

Mark Lorion

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