Posted by:Ranjani Rao November 29th, 2013

Mobile Application Management (MAM) is becoming a big part of enterprise mobile strategy along with traditional Mobile Device Management (MDM) solutions. Some companies are even opting for MAM in place of MDM. Why?

MDM for device and data security

First, let’s understand what MDM is for. With MDM, enterprise IT can keep tabs on the mobile devices used by employees, provision the device with enterprise apps, enforce security and usage policies, protect device data from malicious attacks or theft, collect data in real-time for reports and analysis. What’s the challenge?

The challenge with using an MDM solution becomes evident in a BYOD environment where the company does not dictate which mobile devices employees use. With the plethora of devices and mobile operating systems coming up, IT faces the challenge of registering and configuring a wide range of devices. Practically, this becomes cumbersome.

Furthermore, users themselves may resist the restrictions imposed by security policies, creating a bigger danger when they do not observe rules. Users may also lose personal data if their device is compromised and IT conducts a device wipe.


MAM for application data security

MAM on the other hand brings security into the application themselves. The control is more granular – app interactions, file access and transfer, etc. The complete device is not secured. Some immediate advantages stand out:

Personal and private applications and data are segregated.

Security implementations don’t impede the user experience when users access consumer apps on the device.

Privacy of employees is maintained.

But again, MAM is no manna from heaven. Since each app must incorporate security code, the availability of apps for specific platforms may be limited. However, the increasing use of hybrid mobile apps can if not break, at least reduce the barrier effect.

Some vendors are offering MDM and MAM combination for holistic security. For the rest, there’s no right or wrong here. The choice of going with MAM, MDM or both is finally dependent on the needs of the organization. The final call is yours.

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