Jan 19, 2012 | By Paulo Camara
In my previous post, I discussed how IT consumerization – the introduction of consumer devices into the workplace – is already having a significant impact on Nearshore software development as CIOs rush to capitalize on the trend. But adapting to new devices alone isn’t enough. To truly get the most out of their consumerization efforts, companies have begun to incorporate Mobile Device Management (MDM) and Mobile Application Management (MAM) into their enterprise mobility strategies.
Mobile Device Management and Mobile Application Management have emerged as real solutions for companies seeking to harness IT consumerization while keeping control over the consumer devices used in the workplace and the applications that reside on them. These solutions, which include offerings from companies like AirWatch and Sybase (Afaria), enable IT to secure employee-owned iOS or Android devices, while ensuring adherence to corporate policies and approved use of devices and apps for business purposes.
This has significant implications for companies seeking to capitalize on their consumerization efforts by developing applications that harness the potential of these devices as business tools. Any good enterprise mobility strategy should not only consider the devices being deployed, but also the applications that will be installed on these devices to deliver business value to the organization. For many companies, this means either custom-building applications that will serve a specific business-enabling function, or porting existing enterprise applications to mobile. Either way, developing purpose-built applications will go a long way toward leveraging these consumer devices to achieve specific business goals.
The problem comes when companies develop business applications for consumer devices but fail to take their MDM or MAM solutions into account, and the two come into conflict. This can happen when applications fail to conform to specific policies enforced through the company’s management solution, and the application in question is either severely limited in its functionality or rendered altogether unusable as a result.
All those hours and resources spent on designing and developing the applications are wasted and development costs skyrocket as the company is forced to go back to the drawing board.
Rather than implementing MDM/MAM solutions and developing applications separately, it’s essential that all these components are mapped out and implemented in a carefully constructed mobility strategy. This strategy should take into account the management technologies to be used and the applications needed to ensure success of the consumerization effort, with a determination of how they can be used in tandem to produce the best value for the business.
IT consumerization is a real force in the enterprise, one that doesn’t show any signs of stopping as employees continue to demand access to their favorite consumer devices in the workplace. For companies that want to harness this trend, make sure MDM and MAM solutions are a critical component of your overall mobile strategy, and that any solutions you choose are used in such a way that they don’t impede the functionality of the applications you develop for these devices. A mobility strategy that incorporates all these components will ensure you’re receiving the maximum value from your consumerization investments.
Paulo is responsible for mobile operations at Ci&T, a global IT outsourcing company considered a symbol of innovation by the IAOP/Fortune Magazine. With over 15 years experience in software development, Paulo worked for financial and telecommunications companies before joining Ci&T in 2002. You can connect with him at [email protected].