It has been some time that I shared my views on how enterprises shall gear up for enterprise mobility. I came across many clients since then who were excited and willing to invest in mobility initiative and understood the possible benefits very well. In the course of discussions I have found clients to be very fascinated with terms like MAM, MDM and MEAP and focus shifts quickly from discussing current business pains and opportunities which generally is the only agenda for my team at initial stages.
Typical confusion is about understanding & selecting the suitable solution(s) out of MAM, MDM and MEAP. I generally suggest clients to focus on getting ready with app concepts first and discuss above mentioned terms at a very later stages of solution architecting phase. Once team is ready with defining initial set of business apps one can answer some simple questions which decide what suits the enterprise best; Mobile Application Management (MAM) solution, Mobile Device Management (MDM) solution and/or Mobile Enterprise Application Platform (MEAP) solution. Depending on enterprise characteristics, information criticality, security needs, target users, mobile locations, target devices and available budget answers to following question varies and helps to decide what really will be required.
MAM will be a suitable solution if your answers to following questions are mostly YES. Is it required to provision delivery, update and removal of the apps via enterprise app store? Is it required to manage app versioning and configuration? Is it required to track and monitor app usage? Is it required to define group access control? Will it be a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) strategy?
MDM will be a suitable solution if your answers to following questions are mostly YES. Is it required to standardize the platform(s)? Will enterprise own the devices? Is it required to push policy management for device usage? Is it required to impose inventory and service management? In short if it is required to manage and configure the actual devices (and not only the apps) in accordance with IT policies?
MEAPs actually support app development (where MAM and MDM are for app/device management functions). Gartner describes the Rule of Three using which enterprises shall decide whether MEAP is really required. Is it required to
- Support three or more mobile applications?
- Support three or more mobile operating systems (OS)?
- Integrate with at least three back-end data sources?
If your answers are yes, you shall strongly consider an MEAP solution to be part of your enterprise mobility initiative.
Enterprise mobility revolves around what core apps you are developing to solve your business needs. All the discussed solutions are to enable or support your mobility initiative.
References used: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mobile_enterprise_application_platform