The Lifecycle of Mobile App Management, Part I: Introduction

Watching new business technologies and innovations progress from creation, to awareness, to adoption is a great way to keep tabs on an industry.

That couldn’t be truer than in mobile application management (MAM), which has had an exciting lifecycle thus far. Enterprise mobility got off the ground with BYOA, BYOD, and MDM, but has quickly evolved to where it is now with more nuanced and productive MAM solutions (like App47).

Even so, we’re still in early days, and the best for MAM is yet to come. With that in mind, we thought we’d put together a series examining the lifecycle of mobile app management, from where it is now, to where it came from, to where it’s headed in the future. Understanding where MAM is in its lifecycle (and where it’s going) is a great way to ensure your business is up-to-speed with the status quo today, but also prepared for the future.

In this five-part series, we’ll examine points like:

  • The current state of MAM among other enterprise mobile technologies.
  • Why it’s so important to invest in mobile apps now.
  • What’s on the horizon for MAM as it reaches maturity.
  • Key takeaways for today’s enterprises.

…and more!

Although much of the initial hype surrounding mobile app management has calmed, enterprises across industries continue to develop more mature MAM strategies that reflect a sustainable, productive future for enterprise mobility.

So: what exactly is in store for MAM as it progresses through its lifecycle? Tune into our blog next week to find out as we assess the current state of mobile app management.

Posted in EMM, Enterprise Applications, Enterprise Mobility, Enterprise Mobility Management, MAM, MDM, Mobile Application Management, Mobile Device Management | Leave a comment

Enterprise Mobility ROI: Not Just Snake Oil

In their 2014 survey titled the “State of Mobile Apps,” MGI Research found that 71% of mobile projects deliver only average or poor ROI.

Surely, then, the idea of enterprise mobility ROI must just be snake oil—right?

Not so fast.

We don’t doubt the accuracy of MGI’s survey results. In fact, we’d be more surprised if they weren’t true. But the reason a majority of mobile projects seem to be delivering “average or poor” ROI is not because of an inherent flaw in enterprise mobility. Instead, it comes down to two things: how enterprises are developing and using apps, and how they’re measuring them.

A recent article for EnterpriseAppsTech by Mary Brittain-White offers a good look at the first factor at play in an apparent lack of ROI. Enterprises, Brittain-White says, have one big problem related to this issue: what they’re choosing to mobilize.

Because it’s easiest to develop apps that solve simple problems—say, filling out vacation requests and mimicking other desktop functions—many companies develop those apps first. The apps that offer the greatest ROI often require the shifting of business processes and collaboration between many different business units. It’s not that the apps themselves are difficult to develop; rather, implementing them and getting backing from executive management takes more time.

In essence, many companies choose to mobilize non-core activities first because they require the least brain damage. The trouble is, those non-core activities also have an ROI that’s tougher to track.

Even then, however, which processes are being mobilized isn’t the only thing at play, here. Many companies simply don’t have the right tools in place to effectively measure ROI. Even if a business unit were to mobilize a mission-critical, high ROI function, knowing the exact ROI will be difficult if not impossible without the right tools in place.

Without knowing who’s using the app, how they’re using it, which functions they’re using, how productivity has increased, how much the app crashes, how many users there are, and more, there’s simply no way of knowing ROI. Only when you have a tool that streamlines analytics tracking can you truly start to measure the ROI of your app or apps.

Seeing substantial ROI requires both an acute awareness of which business functions most need to be mobilized, and the right tools to help measure rather than guess. (We’d even bet that those non-core function apps could show more ROI with the right tools.)

ROI from enterprise mobility is not snake oil. It’s real and it’s attainable. But seeing true enterprise mobility ROI requires effort from the enterprise—both in implementation and in measurement.

Posted in EMM, Enterprise Mobility, Enterprise Mobility Management, MAM, Mobile App Development, Mobile Application Analysis, Mobile Application Management | Leave a comment

We’re Back from Enterprise Mobility Exchange 2015. Here’s What We Learned.

Last week, the App47 team went to Atlanta for Enterprise Mobility Exchange 2015. We’re back, and we’re pleased to say it went very well.

Over the last few months, progress in enterprise mobility is all we’ve been talking about. We’ve been telling you for months that enterprise mobility is on the up-and-up—that demand is rising, that the number of enterprise apps is growing, and that more and more companies want MAM instead of MDM.

And that’s all well and good, but we know: nothing’s as good as hearing it from the source. Which is exactly what we did last week.

Unlike conferences of years past, we didn’t have to explain what MAM was in conversations with companies. We didn’t have to feed them questions and hope they’d find a need for mobile apps. Nor did we have to tell them the differences between MAM and MDM.

This event was different. The people we spoke with were educated about the space. They knew what their problems were and how a solution like App47 could solve them. They knew how important it is to have the right tool for the job. They asked us questions and we had in-depth conversations about the merits of MAM. They knew how critical security is in today’s sensitive environment.

Last week, more than any event in recent memory, we saw creativity and demand surrounding MAM. And we’re not just talking in abstracts—we’re talking real companies in need of real solutions.

All around us, customers are getting smarter. We don’t have to tell them why MAM and mobility in general are so important—they already know.

Enterprise Exchange Atlanta 2015, like Enterprise Mobility Exchange 2014 in Las Vegas, was a huge success. But this time, it was for a different reason. It only reinforced the idea we’ve been talking about for months on our blog: that enterprise mobility management is here in full force.

Posted in EMM, Enterprise Mobility, Enterprise Mobility Management, MAM, MDM, Mobile Application Management, Mobile Device Management | Leave a comment

App47 Goes to Atlanta (for Enterprise Mobility Exchange 2015)

The App47 team is in Atlanta! We arrived yesterday, and we’ll be here all day today and tomorrow for this year’s Enterprise Mobility Exchange.

Enterprise Mobility Exchange is an enterprise mobility networking event on steroids. It pairs vendors (that’s us) with delegates (GE Capital, FedEx, Kellogg’s, Papa Johns) in need of mobility solutions. Kind of like Match.com, vendors and delegates fill out profiles, view other attendees’ profiles, and set up one-on-one meetings with companies they’re interested in.

So what’s different about this year’s Exchange? As it turns out, a lot.

Back in November when we surveyed attendees at Enterprise Mobility Exchange in Las Vegas, we saw lots of interest in MDM and not so much interest in enterprise app stores and comprehensive management solutions. This year’s delegates are telling a story that’s much more in-line with the perfect storm happening in enterprise mobility right now.

If last year, 10-15% of delegates met our criteria and wanted an EMM solution, this year, that number is more like 60%. Last year, delegates were saying that they’d be spending on app management 1-2 years down the road. This year, that horizon is looking more like 6 months. Many of the companies we’ve recently talked to have MDM deployed, and now are looking for ways to manage apps. They want to take app management to the next level.

A lot has changed since last November, and for us, that’s yet another data point about how quickly this market is emerging.

What does the future hold? That’s hard to say. But in the meantime, you’ll find us here, in Atlanta, talking with delegates at Enterprise Mobility Exchange about how they can get started managing apps in the face of exploding demand. 

Are you attending Enterprise Mobility Exchange (#EMEUS) in Atlanta? Connect with us in-person or find us on Twitter @App47! Otherwise, be sure to check back in next week, when we’ll recap what we discover this week at the conference, and highlight any other important observations we uncover along the way.

Posted in EMM, Enterprise Applications, Enterprise Mobility, Enterprise Mobility Management, MAM, MDM, Mobile Device Management | Leave a comment

Sell Mobility to Your Board with ROI, Not Novelty

At the Computing Magazine Enterprise Mobility and Application Management 2015 Summit a few weeks ago, Allergan’s IT chief Wei Wang told attendees that introducing enterprise mobility into the enterprise is less about impressing stakeholders with technology and far more about proving use cases.

“A big challenge,” Wang said, “has been convincing the business that mobility delivers value.” This is especially difficult because of regulatory obstacles in the pharmaceutical sector. Wang found success selling mobility with use cases like increased digital interaction by the sales force, which believes in large part that only direct personal contact with a customer is effective.

It’s no surprise that regulations in healthcare make enterprise mobility a serious undertaking. We’ve seen first-hand how frustrating regulation-laden mobile apps can be. It’s no wonder that employees would opt to go back to more traditional communication methods when they have to navigate a clunky system that could easily be improved while still remaining secure.

Wang’s idea of selling enterprise mobility with use cases and not novelty may be based in the difficult healthcare environment, but it’s worth building off of.

We know that boards and other decision-makers at companies don’t want novelty. Or at least, novelty isn’t enough to sell them on a new, large investment. (Is “Everyone’s going mobile, and we should too!” really a compelling argument? No.) But we’ll take Wang’s idea about use cases and move it one step forward. You should be selling mobility to your board with ROI, not novelty.

Use cases and specifics are good; telling company stakeholders that mobile sales apps can increase productivity is much better than saying, “We need to go mobile.” But ROI is better. The ideal scenario would be running a small test and showing key decision-makers how well the mobility program worked—how many users engaged with the app, how much time it saved, how productivity increased, and what bang they got for their buck.

Even if you don’t have a test case to build off of, it’s immensely more useful to come armed with a plan for tracking ROI than it is to sell on novelty, or even specific use cases. Don’t just tell your board that you’re planning on helping salespeople be more productive. Tell them that you have a way to monitor analytics that will help you determine the ROI of your apps.

All the decision-makers we’ve ever talked to have been delighted by the prospect of having hard data to base future decisions off of. Your argument for enterprise mobility can only be made stronger with data on your side.

When selling mobility to your board or anyone else, don’t sell on novelty. Sell on ROI.

Posted in EMM, Enterprise Mobility, Enterprise Mobility Management | Leave a comment

As Demand for Mobile Apps Rises, Enterprises Continue to Struggle

A new study from 451 Research and Kony Inc. shows that more than half of the 480 respondents plan to deploy 10 or more enterprise mobile apps in the next two years.

That’s good news. The rest of what the study [PDF] found isn’t.

There are two main problems highlighted by this research. For one, the majority of developers and IT management within the enterprise are currently grappling with who has ownership of mobile projects.

More worryingly, many IT departments are ill-equipped to meet the rising demand for enterprise mobile apps, citing budgetary constraints, a skills gap, technology fragmentation, and more as reasons they may struggle to keep up with app development. In general, capabilities are lagging far behind expectations.

That’s the report. But what does it mean in practice?

For us, this study signifies a need for today’s companies to do three things:

  • Build out capabilities in-house, and use an app development platform to make development cheaper and easier. While there are outsourced app developers, companies concerned about cost and agility would do well to build limited capabilities for app development in-house, and augment them with tools like the ones we mentioned in our post last week. Today’s app development platforms streamline the development process and make it much easier and cheaper to manage.
  • Develop a crystal clear strategy around enterprise mobility. Companies also need to have a strategy that defines who’s in charge of mobile app development, who’s in charge of management and testing, what the company’s EMM policy is, and what the company hopes to gain from enterprise mobility. This strategy should set a framework for measuring success, and also give clear direction on how to attain it.
  • Have systems in place for enterprise mobility management. Finally, companies must remember that development is only half the battle (or less). No matter how you develop your apps, you also need to be able to manage them from development to deployment and beyond. Internal structure does help with this, but a tool like App47 can greatly streamline the process and give companies a single portal for management.

While you certainly could take this research as a sign that we’re headed for the app-ocalypse, we see it as an exciting time for businesses to build out their capabilities and really take advantage of everything that enterprise mobility has to offer.

Moving your business towards enterprise mobility maturity and away from a fear of app development can be made much easier through today’s excellent tools. That’s true from development through management.

Taking these three steps to heart isn’t all today’s companies need to do, but it is a great foundation that can help enterprises buck the trend and truly thrive in enterprise mobility.

Posted in EMM, Enterprise Applications, Enterprise Mobility, Enterprise Mobility Management, MAM, Mobile App Development, Mobile Application Deployment, Mobile Application Management | Leave a comment

Enterprise Mobility: Headed for the Perfect Storm

Even if you haven’t seen The Perfect Storm, you probably have an image in your head of what a perfect storm looks like. If you’re anything like us, you probably imagine high winds, rough seas, and heavy rain, all of which combine to make the storm of a lifetime.

Would you believe us if we told you we were headed right towards the middle of a perfect storm?

In enterprise mobility, we’re seeing a convergence of many factors helping brew their own kind of perfect storm. While independently these factors may only be a blip on the radar, combined together, they create the possibility of catapulting enterprise mobility and MAM into the mainstream.

These three factors are:

  1. The disillusionment of MDM. Companies who have previously implemented MDM are finding out that it doesn’t work in all scenarios. MDM deployment models are time consuming and inefficient. As more and more companies figure this out, more and more of those same companies are looking for a better way.
  2. The maturity of app development tools. Tools have become extremely mature, making it easier for enterprises to develop enterprise-grade software quickly and inexpensively. Platforms like OutSystems, Globo, and AnyPresence have shortened the app development timeline from years to months or even weeks. This is a huge benefit for companies getting into MAM and enterprise mobility.
  3. The sheer volume of mobile apps in the enterprise. Finally, as companies become more familiar with mobility and as they implement tools like those listed above, their volume of apps increases significantly. We used to qualify clients as having ‘a lot’ of apps if they had 5 or more. Now, many clients are coming in with 10 or 20. Though quick and often inexpensive to develop, these apps and their users still need to be managed.

If ever there was an inflection point on the graph charting enterprise mobility growth, this is it.

As all of these factors continue to proliferate and take shape, the perfect storm is getting closer and closer. We think it will probably be about a year until things finally boil over and MAM explodes in popularity, but no matter the timeline, all of the elements for that perfect storm are finally in place.

Buckle up for enterprise mobility—it should be a fun ride.

Posted in EMM, Enterprise Mobility, Enterprise Mobility Management, MAM, MDM | Leave a comment

The Three Phases of Enterprise Mobility Maturity (and Why They Matter to Your Business)

A recent article by Dmitri Tcherevik of Enterprise Apps Tech explores an interesting concept: an enterprise mobility maturity model.

As Tcherevik notes, several studies, like SAP/ASUG’s Mobility Benchmarking Study, point to a correlation between the performance of a company and its maturity in the area of enterprise mobility. Companies with high enterprise mobility maturity demonstrate higher revenue growth and better operating margins.

Of course, as we all learned in school, correlation does not always equal causation. There are likely other things at play in enterprises with high mobility maturity that influence their success. Even so, what’s most interesting about Tcherevik’s insight here is his mobility maturity model with three different phases listed below: aware, reactive, and proactive.

enterprise mobility maturity graph

If you’d like, you can read Tcherevik’s full descriptions of the different phases in the article here. The graphic above, however, does a good job of summing up the three phases.

At this point, most companies likely fall somewhere along the spectrum between aware and reactive. Fortunately, it’s somewhat rare these days for companies to have no mobility strategy whatsoever. At the same time, it’s also somewhat rare for companies to have a clearly articulated strategy and dozens of custom applications. Again, the average enterprise lies somewhere in those first two phases.

So why does all of this matter?

Even if enterprise mobility maturity doesn’t lead directly to the revenue growth and better operating margins outlined by Tcherevik, there are still many reasons to develop a robust mobility strategy, included increased productivity, streamlined process, informed app development, and more. All of which, we might add, do position a company better for success in the long run.

As more and more companies get on board the enterprise mobility parade, one final thing to note about these phases is that there’s no reason a company couldn’t jump directly from the aware phase to the proactive phase. While that would take careful planning and proper vendor support, it’s entirely possible to go from a BYOD policy only to a robust strategy with custom apps and proper management. Unsurprisingly, that’s exactly what we’d recommend.

Take a look at the criteria outlined in Tcherevik’s graph and assess how mature your company is in its enterprise mobility strategy. If you find yourself looking more like an aware company than that of a reactive or proactive one, it’s likely time that you start thinking about developing a better mobility program.

Posted in BYOD, Enterprise Applications, Enterprise Mobility, Enterprise Mobility Management | Leave a comment

Recap: App47’s Spring Release Webinar

A couple weeks ago, the App47 team hosted our Spring Webinar. With our Spring Release, we wanted to take some time to review our current product and answer questions from potential App47 clients.

In the webinar, we walked through our current product and showed how to do all of the following:

  • App creation
  • User management
  • Admin management with fine-grain access controls
  • Manage different users on different devices
  • View and manage analytics including:
    • Usage by model, OS version, app version, and more
    • Crash logs
    • User engagement metrics

In addition to the overview, we also took a survey of our viewers’ experience with mobile apps and mobile app management. Over 90% of viewers have developed custom apps for the enterprise, and a similar percentage would consider using MAM to replace MDM—a positive sign for us!

Based on our feedback from the webinar, the trend is clear: now, more than ever, there are more apps in the enterprise, and more of a focus on app management. That’s a big turnaround from days where device management ruled and custom apps were uncommon. MAM is here to stay!

If you’d like to learn more about what you see here, good news: you can view a recording of our webinar! All you have to do is visit this link. To view the webinar, you’ll need to provide your name and email address—it’s that simple!

For any other questions about this webinar, don’t hesitate to reach out to us in the comments or on Twitter @App47.

Posted in App47 Product Tips/Tricks, Enterprise App Store, Enterprise Applications, Enterprise Mobility, Enterprise Mobility Management, MAM, Mobile Application Management | Leave a comment

4 Choices for Secure Smartphones

Security is one of the most overlooked aspects in a typical smartphone user’s list of features, when it really should be the first. Luckily, there are plenty of options for businesspeople who use their smartphones to increase productivity in the workplace that have great specs and security features.

Samsung Galaxy S 6/S 6 Edge

The Galaxy S 6 and S 6 Edge come with security features, such as a fingerprint scanner and its Touchwiz functionality. These phones also contain a secure proprietary feature for people who like an extra step in security with their personal files (as well as business users). It’s known as Knox, which works like a mobile device management suite. Knox allows you to compartmentalize your files into a separate virtual partition on the phone, so it can be remotely locked or wiped if the device is lost or stolen. And it is handy for those who use their own devices for work and their personal lives because it keeps everything separate.

Apple iPhone 6

Apple’s iPhone 6 has been a huge hit since the first day it came out. The TouchID is one security feature on the iPhone 6 that is more accurate than Apple’s previous devices due to hardware and software upgrades.

It also includes a couple new iOS security features. The iPhone 6 comes with message encryption, which gives users peace of mind that no one can intercept their messages while they are in transit. In fact, not even a wire tap order can penetrate the transmission. Both iMessage and FaceTime utilize this feature, so users’ face-to-face chats are secure as well. Additionally, iCloud Keychain securely stores and automatically fills out passwords on set websites and apps. This lets users create strong, randomized and unique passwords without having to worry about remembering them.

HTC One M9+

The HTC One M9+ is the first HTC phone to feature a fingerprint scanner. According to Android Central, this phone is different than the original M9 because it has upgraded features, such as the fingerprint scanner between the bottom dual front speakers. This fingerprint scanner is different from the ones on the Galaxy S 6 and the iPhone 6 because it doesn’t serve a double function as a button and is solely a scanner. It’s still unknown whether this makes the scanner more accurate, but, if so, will Apple and Samsung follow suit? Currently, this phone is not available in the United States, but it can be ordered through online vendors.

Smart Circle Blackphone 2

Gizmodo claims that the Blackphone 2 is probably the most secure smartphone in the world. The Blackphone 2 runs a heavily modified version of iOS, called PrivatOS. It does not feature a fingerprint scanner like the other phones mentioned, but it does have an app store that is unique to the Blackphone. Although the App Store on the iPhone is regulated, PrivatOS kicks it up a notch. It lists the permissions in plain language so you can decide if the app is secure enough before downloading and using it.

Posted in BYOD, EMM, Enterprise Mobility, Mobile App Security | Leave a comment

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