Recently, while going over a presentation in the CIO magazine that discussed 15 ways iPad goes to work, I was astounded by the popularity of tablets in different industry segments. From corporate offices to schools, hospitals and battle grounds, tablets have influenced the way businesses and organizations function and everyday tasks are carried out. Mobile devices and mobile applications are now everywhere!
After tablets and smartphones, mobile applications are the next technology wave sweeping the mobile industry. According to a study by Ericsson, 35% of smartphone owners use their apps even before getting out of the bed! Mobile users are always on the lookout for applications in their device app store for reading books, playing games, social networking and for boosting productivity. These applications are no longer restricted to an operating system and can be broadly segmented based on device and user needs. However, as of today, the mobile applications lack the ability to communicate with the enterprise software systems.
As most of the employees own multiple smart devices today, corporations must provide access to their enterprise applications from such devices. Mobilizing your enterprise applications is a fantastic way of boosting productivity of employees. It allows mobile employees to access the enterprise applications over wireless connections from home or when they are on the road.
The best way to make the applications available to the employees is through an enterprise application store. This enables users to download the apps when required. Accessing applications from an Enterprise App Store not only simplifies the application discovery process for the employees but also allows IT to optimize software licensing costs by maintaining an inventory of all the assets and deploying applications to the relevant department or users. It also enables IT to recommend and deploy “best of” public app store applications to the employees.
However, an IT admin cannot manage his applications well if he cannot manage his mobile devices. Thus, it is a best practice to have a Mobile Application Management (MAM) and a Mobile Device Management (MDM) solution in place to manage corporate assets and corporate applications. Some of the key deliverables of a combined solution are:
- Conveniently manage applications–allow downloading of apps that are required and restrict apps that may hinder the compliance state of the asset.
- Flexible distribution of applications based on user needs or device specifications.
- App updates and patches can be conveniently deployed with minimal user interaction.
- Send notifications (without any user intervention) to users encouraging them to download new app content, or warning them if they have a disallowed app on the device.
- A centralized console for tracking application usage and expenses, viewing application inventory and gathering audit logs.
In the SaaS era, putting your enterprise applications in the cloud is a favorable model. It not only minimizes IT support but also reduces storage and distribution bottlenecks. Device visibility can be attained; and over-the-air app updates and OS patches can be delivered for all corporate and non-corporate assets.
I believe mobilizing enterprise applications is a realistic model and must be practiced by IT departments. What are your thoughts? Do you have any enterprise applications on your smartphone? Please share your experiences with us in the comment section below.