Mobile App Management a Hot Topic at Gartner Symposium/ITxpo

Sam Liu, Partnerpedia's Vice President of Marketing

By Sam Liu

Last week in Orlando, Partnerpedia had the opportunity to not only exhibit at the 2011 Gartner Symposium/ITxpo, we also presented a session called Enterprise Tablets and Mobile Application Management (MAM).

The concept of MAM is driven by the prevalence of mobile apps and devices entering the enterprise. Gartner made many references to MAM throughout the conference, which made it top of mind with IT executives and decisions makers. Many companies are also dealing with the opportunities and challenges of employee-owned devices. Instead of the usual top-down mandates from IT, there seems to be a willingness to collaborate with the end-user especially on personal devices used for business.

The event was an excellent venue for IT to gather information and research around these topics.

The timing of Gartner ITxpo was great as it aligned with our recent announcement of Enterprise AppZone – a solution that allows IT to gain secure control over mobile apps while offering end-users the convenience of consumer style app stores which they’ve become accustomed to. During the show, we previewed the Enterprise AppZone and the session we presented on MAM was the most attended of all the emerging tech vendors.

We also discovered during the show that while managing mobile apps is top of mind, IT is also faced with how to develop mobile apps. Many companies approached us looking for mobile development help. Traditional IT shops simply don’t have the expertise and resources when it comes to mobile apps. This is further complicated by the permutations of devices and platforms, along with the frequency of change.

We encountered questions on the differences between MAM and mobile device management (MDM). MDM came out of the days of laptops and is an IT security tool used to manage device profiles and wipe data in the event of loss or theft. Though MDM has its place in the IT tool chest, it does not add value to end-user productivity nor offers the “consumerization” experience that end-users demand. In addition, MDM solution can be considered invasive for employee owned devices which presents privacy issues.

All in all, it was a great show and a very exciting time for enterprise mobility. Gone are the days when mobile business apps were limited to email and largely on a singular device such as the BlackBerry. Now the world of enterprise applications is limitless, and the end-user productivity gain that can come out of it is as well.

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