Before your IT department or independent software developer starts cranking out Enterprise Mobile software code, there are two foundation core steps that first must be addressed.
You’ve probably already seen their core name acronyms elsewhere: MDM (mobile device management) and MAM (mobile application management). Simply put, MDM will be your rules on which mobile devices will be managed, controlled, and supported. MAM will be your rules on how the applications loaded on supported mobile devices will be managed, controlled, and supported. Your company should discuss and agree in detail on what these two core steps will be – prior to any code being created or mobile software distributed.
There are too many Internet articles providing in-depth details and advice for both MDM and MAM to repeat their recommendations here. A recent deep-dive and comprehensive article I recommend is by Galen Gruman, downloadable from InfoWorld:
Your intellectual property, in the form of Enterprise app content, has to be protected. This content is just as valuable as any other intellectual property your company creates or owns; but, it is at greater risk and perhaps the most vulnerable property category your company will ever create. That is because, by definition, mobile “property” can’t be easily locked down, tracked, traced, or deleted without a significant degree of upfront planning.
The proliferation of BYOD, in an age of a very mobile workforce, means that control of Enterprise apps loaded on personal devices will immediately be at jeopardy when trusted employees become former employees. BYOD means the devices and all of their loaded software departs the premise when the former employee does.
As Galen points out in his deep dive article, common sense guidelines and employee usage policies may offer practical solutions; but, if the nature and use of specific apps is company sensitive – for executive use only, for example, nothing may protect your company interests better than company-issued devices that must be returned by departing employees. Ownership always remains with your company in this regard.
Your MAM and MDM rules should address as many business usage scenario specifics as one can imagine. And, don’t write any code until you can provide a basic framework for where and how your mobile apps are to be deployed, managed, updated, or revoked!