An App Store is No MAM: Support the entire app lifecycle

March 7, 2013 Pivotal Labs

Don’t confuse App Stores with a fully operational Mobile Application Management (MAM) platform. Despite claims from certain vendors, a true MAM platform must support not just the acquisition of apps, but the entire app lifecycle.

Why is this confusion rampant? Let’s face it: we know what an app store is. We can immediately grasp that concept. What we don’t have a concept of is what it takes to run an app store, and that’s what MAM does.

Here are the issues that should be addressed, according to Jim Casey’s article in Developer Tech:

  • An App Store is not MAM. Just because you can buy an app doesn’t mean you can manage vendor relationships and address deployments, bugs and fixes.
  • True MAM accounts for every aspect of the enterprise mobility lifecycle. MAM is a systems-management view of enterprise mobile apps, including deployment, configuration, monitoring, management and security. Any system that offers less than this is an incomplete bill of goods and will cause a lot of pain down the road.
  • A mobile platform needs metrics. Who is using the apps? How? When? Why? Are apps being installed and quickly uninstalled, an indication of a problem in the app’s design?
  • A mobile platform must include enterprise integration. MAM is about much more than acquiring a few apps for your employees. It’s also not just about one mobile operating system, or one app. It’s about accessing all the back-end data at your company that your employees need to do their jobs. It’s about making employees more productive, regardless of time or location, while ensuring the integrity of corporate data.

Enterprises have increasingly come to appreciate the importance of account security and deployment considerations on an application level, which has graduated them beyond looking at securing mobile devices (and Mobile Device Management) as the end-all and be-all of enterprise mobility. But this appreciation of app-centricity doesn’t end with establishing or linking to an app store. Don’t be confused by vendors of “MAM-lite.” Mastering what comes after you’ve got the apps and can secure your devices – managing the entire app lifecycle – is what will truly bring mobile’s promise into the light.

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