The Growing Challenges of Mobile Device Management
April 18, 2012

Jennifer Kuvlesky

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Do a Google search on mobile management, and you will get a lot of material to comb through. The two main topics you will encounter include mobile device management and management from your mobile device. Mobile device management is focused on securing, monitoring, and deploying applications to devices across mobile operators, service providers and enterprises. Management from your mobile device is focused on accessing IT management applications from your mobile device to do your job more effectively and efficiently. One common theme across both topics is security.

Security is a fundamental concern of all IT Management solutions, and it is of particular importance when mobile devices are used to access corporate information across the firewall.

Many IT software companies provide access to their features through applications in a mobile fashion and in some cases it is makes sense for companies to use these if they only have specific tasks they need to do. Nearly every day I see some software company announcing they have provided a mobile interface for their application.

The reality is that most IT professionals need to access several applications to do their job well. If IT staff can access a multitude of mobile apps from their mobile devices, they will likely be more productive and service levels will likely improve. Implementing this vision is tricky.

Does the app support mobile access?

What are the hardware and software requirements for providing mobile access to this application?

What mobile devices does the application support?

What kind of security does each application provide?

The time to wade through all these options for every IT management application is definitely a roadblock. It's not as easy as downloading Foursquare. Luckily, like the MDM market, there is consolidation underway with a growing number of Mobile Enterprise Application Platform (MEAP, a term coined by Gartner) providers surfacing recently.

MEAPs provide a secure framework for developers to design and deliver mobile applications, they support a multitude of devices and scale to enterprise usage. This is a great solution for businesses that are developing new software applications that require mobile access (seems most will).

Many business today just want to mobilize the apps they use and love. For this use case, a MEAP requires that the business has the time and resources to outsource or hire application developers to enable mobile access for their enterprise applications. This requirement is based on the fact that most MEAPs provide very little out of the box content. Ironically, it's content that has driven the frenzied adoption of mobile devices.

Jennifer Kuvlesky is Product Marketing Manager at SolarWinds.

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