Mobile App Management for Ultimate Control of Mobile Devices

If you ever want to see top notch diligence, watch a first time mom pack her toddler’s lunch box – at least in my house. She packs every snack and meal in separate pouches and in measured quantities. She keeps all the unhealthy high-sugar stuff out and includes all my son’s favorite foods so that he eats well even when she is not around. The only other time I witnessed such meticulous control on what goes, what doesn’t, and how much, was by the IT staff at my previous company that had 100,000+ employees globally.

IT administrators, as caretakers of enterprise IT infrastructure, have always wanted a close, tight and centralized control of every piece of IT asset to ensure business continuity, optimal performance, high productivity and bullet-proof security. As the size and complexity of infrastructure increases, the IT management challenges rise exponentially. Companies today extend mobile access to corporate data, along with company-owned mobile devices in many cases. About a decade ago companies trusted BlackBerrys for their secured encrypted access. There weren’t any third party phone apps that users could find and install by themselves on these devices. It was a thick-walled garden back then. But with the advent of Android, iOS and Windows mobile platforms the walls have come down and it has now become a fenceless park within a gated community.

The plethora of apps on each of these mobile platforms has given users the freedom to install any program that they believe will boost productivity. Consequently the line between corporate network and external world is getting blurred. This makes the IT staff, including the CIOs and CISOs nervous as it exposes sensitive corporate data to a potential security breach. The IT staff, therefore, now wants to control and restrict the mobile apps on phones that access corporate systems, data and applications. In the Mobile Device Management (MDM) parlance, this is known as Mobile App Management.

The Mobile App Management (MAM) capability allows IT admins to maintain an inventory of apps installed on all the mobile devices included in the corporate network. It also allows admins to create app catalogs to enforce policy compliance on these distributed mobile end points.

Some of the other key features of MAM include:

  • Remote monitoring of apps installed on devices by
    • Blocking apps through a “Disallowed apps policy” with on screen alerts and compliance view
    • Enforcing required apps through a “Required apps policy” that sends app invites with links and reminds users periodically if they are not in compliance
  • Capability to push enterprise apps to devices remotely
  • Support for App Store applications

When integrated with an enterprise IT management solution that IT admins use to monitor network, servers, desktops, and laptops remotely, such as Kaseya VSA with MDM, MDM/MAM enables centralized control of the IT infrastructure, including mobile workforce, from a single pane of glass. In addition to MAM, Kaseya MDM solution also offers features like loss or theft handling, geo location tracking, device locking, audit and complete device management and configuration. It enables IT admins to treat mobile devices just like computers.

In summary, Mobile App Management is a critical aspect of MDM to ensure security of enterprise data accessed from mobile devices. An MDM solution that integrates with a centralized IT management solution provides a powerful tool for IT staff to command centrally and manage remotely their enterprise IT infrastructure including the mobile workforce.

Author: Varun Taware

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