Mobile Application Management (MAM) or mobile app management, refers to the management of the entire app lifecycle - from installation to deletion and updating apps, to managing app licenses, permissions, configurations etc., It also includes defining policies for apps, which includes restrictions pertaining to the apps and the data it works on.
With more organizations shifting towards a mobile-only or mobile-first workforce, apps are finding an exponential level of usage in such enterprises. It is the duty of the IT administrators to manage mobile apps - ensure the devices in the enterprises are ready for corporate usage by having all the requisite apps installed on the devices and they're the running the latest version. Managing mobile apps, thus, seems like a cumbersome task for IT administrators irrespective of the organization size.
This is where Mobile Application Management (MAM) software/tools come into the picture, providing an efficient answer for managing apps in the enterprise. Mobile app management solutions nullify any app management issue thanks to its remote management capabilities, ensuring all the IT administrators needs is the right mobile application management tool for eficient app management.
Mobile Device Management (MDM) primarily deals with proactively protecting the device and the data at all 3 stages - at rest, in use, and in transit. Mobile Application Management (MAM) primarily deals with apps and the data that the apps work with. As both technologies began to evolve, they overlapped into enterprise mobility management (EMM), leading to MDM solutions having extensive mobile app management capabilities.
Mobile Application Management (MAM) lets IT administrators remotely manage mobiles apps - from the apps already present on the devices to newer apps that are to be installed, IT administrators can manage them all with Mobile Application Management software, over-the-air. IT administrators can configure policies for each and every app, including the data being handled by the apps. Further, you also get the list of all apps present on all devices accessing corporate data, which can then be used for auditing purposes.
Along with Android, iOS is another OS that's extensively used in enterprises, be it iPads or iPhones. To ensure seamless app management, you can leverage Apple Business Manager (ABM), which is a combination of Apple's two previous programs, Apple Device Enrollment Program (DEP) and Apple Volume Purchase Program (VPP). Enrolling devices using Apple Business Manager (ABM) ensures the devices are Supervised, which helps in better utilizing ABM features such as silent app installation, license management etc.
Android, the other major OS extensively used in enterprises, also has programs similar to Apple's for seamless Android app management. Google Play for Work is similar to Apple Business Manager, with extensive app management features such as silent app installation, approving apps to be installed on devices etc. Similar to Supervision, provisioning Android devices as work-managed device (also known as Device Owner) helps in better leveraging Play for Work.
Mobile Application Management (MAM) tools provide organizations various benefits, some of which include:
MDM's mobile application management completely eases this process right from installing apps, managing them and deleting them. Here’s a comprehensive list of features supported by MDM to ease mobile app management for IT admins:
Creating your own app catalog to contain only those apps approved by the organization. These apps can either be Store apps, available for public download on the Internet or enterprise apps, the in-house apps developed specifically to cater to the organization’s needs. Only these apps are permitted to be installed on the devices, thus minimizing installation of unapproved apps.
With each department needing their own set of apps and not all employees might require all the apps available for the department. In such a scenario, setting up the self-service portal with all the apps and allowing the employees to choose and install the apps that they require.
In most organizations, employees belonging to a particular department are bound to use the same set of apps. Clustering devices of these employees into groups ensure all apps previously associated to the groups, get automatically distributed to any device that gets added to the group, thereby automating the app distribution process at a department level.
One of the primary requirements pertaining to mobile app management is ensuring the requisite corporate apps gets installed with no user intervention and minimal admin action. MDM integrates with Apple Business Manager (previously known as Apple Volume Purchase Program) in case of iOS, Google Play (previously known as Play for Work) in case of Android, and Windows Business Store in case of Windows. In addition to this, you can also install MSI apps on Windows laptops.
As an enterprise dealing primarily with corporate devices wouldn’t want unapproved apps to be installed on the devices. These apps can be non-work apps, which can lead to loss of productivity or worst can be malicious apps trying to access confidential data.
App Blocklist lets you pre-define a list of apps, which gets removed if installed previously on managed devices and also prevents subsequent installations. These apps can be the ones pre-installed on the devices or the apps installed by the user.
With certain apps which require a multitude of settings to be configured before usage, you would ideally want the IT admin to configure. However, configuring it repeatedly might be a cumbersome task for the admin. MDM lets you pre-configure the basic settings on the app (supported for iOS, Android, and Windows), ensuring the app is ready to use on installation without requiring any user intervention. Further, you can also pre-define the app permissions ensuring the users cannot modify the permissions enabled/disabled by the enterprise.
Having installed the apps on the devices, the next step is to configure restrictions on the devices, to avoid unauthorized access of the corporate data which is being used by the apps. MDM lets you restrict the sharing of data from approved apps to unapproved apps and vice-versa. You can also configure restrictions to prevent users from uninstalling apps, installing unapproved apps and you can even disable Play Store / App Store / Business Store.
From locking devices to specific apps using Kiosk Mode to having Virtual Private Network (VPN) specifically for apps, the need for app-specific policies is becoming pertinent by the day. With MDM, not only can you lock the device to a specific set of corporate apps but also pre-configure device settings and prevent users from modifying it. Further, you can also configure Single Sign-On option for corporate apps. Further, you can convert your web apps into conventional looking mobile apps using web shortcuts (or web clips).
With apps being the bedrock of mobile-first workforces, app-based reports provide the IT admin with granular details such as apps present on the device, devices with blocklisted apps etc. MDM has these as out-of-the-box reports which can be scheduled and sent via e-mail.
MDM integrates with Zoho Creator, a low-code app development software, which lets you create web applications, which can they be made into Android/iOS applications, which can then be shared to devices using MDM. You can do the same in case of your CRM application developed using Zoho CRM. MDM also integrates with several applications, which can be viewed here.
Having built up an app catalog containing only those apps approved by the organization, you can also ensure the Play Store from where the apps are being installed is customized based on the organization's needs. This ensures easier navigation around the Play Store to install those apps approved by the organization.