Mobile Application Strategy


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Mobile Application Strategy

  1. 1. SAP White PaperMobile ApplicationsMobile Applications May Be Running the Business,But Who’s Running the Apps?The Challenges of Managing Mobility at the Application Level
  2. 2. Table of Contents 5 Who’s Minding the Mobile Apps? 6 What Is Application Management? Application Management Challenges for Corporate IT 8 Scaling Mobile Business Operations with Scalable Application Management What to Look for in an Application Development Platform Distributing, Configuring, and Maintaining Mobile Applications 10 Service-Cycle Approach to Application Management Managing Application Development Managing Application Use 11 Optimizing Mobile Operations Through Application Management
  3. 3. Today’s enterprise mobility is a consumer-driven phenomenon. Inmany organizations, it is workers bringing their own devices into theworkplace who are forcing the hand of IT policy makers. New devicesare coming to market faster than corporate IT can formulate policiesabout them; companies often have no idea what software or datatheir employees are accessing. As enterprise mobility evolves farbeyond mobile e-mail, application management is becoming afundamental mobility management challenge.
  4. 4. Reality Check in the Mobile IT WorldWho’s Minding the Mobile Apps?Why is mobile application management •• Many companies get started withsuch a big deal? mobility by thinking in terms of a few Here are several points that help illus- mobile applications for certain kindstrate what is happening in the mobile IT of business operations. However, asworld: more and more employees push for•• Many companies are allowing employ- mobile solutions, it is not always clear ees to use their own smartphones exactly how many mobile applications and tablets at work. These are called a company is supporting. Of course employee-liable devices, and it makes the bigger question is, how many will a sense for employers to allow them company ultimately need to support? because it shifts some of the burden of Large enterprises use thousands of mobility management to employees. commercial and internally developed One company realized it didn’t know applications to run conventional busi- how many of its employees had mobile ness operations. connections to basic corporate ser- vices like e-mail. It decided to use a As mobile operations spread through the mobile device interrogation tool to see organization, how is it possible to man- what business applications mobile age, support, and configure hundreds if workers were accessing. As soon as not thousands of mobile applications for the tool was turned on, the company employees who use different mobile was surprised to discover 1,800 more devices and operating systems requiring devices accessing e-mail services than different versions of the same it realized. This had an impact on its applications? e-mail software licensing agreement. There is a way, but before we get into that, it’s important to understand what application management is all about.SAP White Paper – Mobile Applications May Be Running the Business, But Who’s Running the Apps? 5
  5. 5. Key Aspects from Acquisition Through RemovalWhat Is Application Management?There are three distinct but interdepen- Mobile security includes extending Microsoft Windows client systems run-dent aspects of managing enterprise corporate security practices and poli- ning a suite of office software, whilemobility. cies to mobile workers. Mobile security creative designers might prefer Mac OS Mobile application management involves the use of both device and appli- systems.involves not only acquiring, building, and cation management tools to enforce Enterprise mobility is different. Whencustomizing applications to make them security policies. Basic device controls it comes to supporting mobility, mostsuitable for use in the business but also like remote lock and wipe, automatic data enterprises today support multipledistributing them, configuring them, fading, activity logging, data encryption, mobile operating systems for all kindssecuring them, updating them, tracking and password protection are important of workers, and workers using differenttheir usage, and deleting them from tools for mobile security. The applications devices often need to run the samedecommissioned devices. themselves also become tools for enforc- applications. Furthermore, there may Mobile device management is life- ing security, as the corporation controls be greater variation in the applicationscycle management that includes enabling who gets them, what data they access, workers carry on their mobile devicesdevices for use in the business, device and how they handle data. than there is in the applications oneconfiguration and provisioning with basic would find on a typical desktop or laptopsoftware and data, monitoring business- Application Management system. This is because the smaller formrelated device activity, having remote Challenges for Corporate IT factor of mobile devices makes themdevice controls, and device decommis- ideal for smaller applications that aresioning. As the trend toward “bring your In a traditional enterprise IT environ- more specific to a worker’s job functions.own device” (BYOD) becomes the norm, ment, desktop and notebook computers Here’s an example. Let’s say businesssome traditional device management often run the same operating system. unit managers want a mobile budgetfunctions, like device and service provider If there are different client operating sys- dashboard app that gives them a real-selection, are shifting to workers. For tems, they are typically used by different time snapshot of their balance sheets.more information about device manage- kinds of workers running different kinds Others in the organization would havement, see the SAP white paper Managing of applications. For instance, basic busi- no need for this app and therefore wouldMobile Devices in a Device-Agnostic World ness operations typically happen on not be running it. The company might(registration required). How is it possible to manage, support, and configure hundreds if not thousands of mobile applications for employees who use different mobile devices and operating systems requiring different versions of the same applications?
  6. 6. need to support five different versions ment tools. As the number of applica- Maintaining Mobile Applicationsof this application because the business tions and devices increases in the Applications and business operationsunit managers all use different mobile organization, their management change. With a large portfolio of mobiledevices. becomes a nearly impossible task. apps, there will be continuous need to Here’s another example. Let’s say your One of the most important ways to get revise and update apps, and it will bebusiness hires consultants to work on a handle on managing mobile applica- necessary to ensure that employees getspecific projects under contracts that tions is to enforce an application develop- these updates. Also, if employees changehave limited duration. While they are ment platform standard. All applications devices – for instance, if they switchunder contract, your company needs built on a common platform can be man- from an iPhone to an Android device –them to run certain mobile applications aged with the same set of management they will need to be reprovisionedthat are integral to the operations they tools. with the appropriate versions of theirare involved in. When their contracts Another key advantage of applications applications.end, you want to wipe those applications built on a common development plat-and associated data from their mobile form is that they can all share data. This Removing Business Applications anddevices. Of course, these consultants has significant implications for the future Data from Mobile Devicescould be using any of a number of differ- of a mobility strategy that is expanding If a mobile device is lost, an employeeent mobile devices. through an organization. It’s difficult to leaves the company, or a consultant’s Multiply these scenarios by the hun- predict who will need what data in new contract ends, it will be necessary todreds or thousands of applications and emerging operations. However, if a remove business applications and dataneeded to support enterprise mobility, platform standard allows all future appli- from those devices. If companies supportand it is quickly apparent that managing cations to share data, the need for data a BYOD policy, they must be able to per-mobile applications presents a different transparency among different applica- form these tasks without touching thekind of IT challenge. In this environment tions (or the lack of it) ceases to be an personal-use functionality of a device.of rapidly proliferating applications, issue.companies must resolve the following Companies can mandate that all in-key aspects of mobile application house applications be built using amanagement. standard development platform and all purchased applications come fromAcquiring or Building Mobile vendors using the same developmentApplications for Use in the Business platform. This is an important first stepWhere do mobile business applications in application management.come from? Most officially sanctionedbusiness applications are either pur- Distributing Applications to Employeeschased as out-of-the-box solutions or A fundamental task of mobility manage-the company custom-builds them. ment is distributing applications to Many companies have been slow to employees. This means getting the rightdevelop policies around the adoption of versions of applications onto the devicesmobile applications because they are of people who need to run them. It alsooften specialized and touch compara- means doing as much preconfigurationtively few employees. This has resulted as possible so users do not becomein IT being saddled with managing a mis- frustrated to the point of abandoningcellaneous portfolio of applications that the application, and IT support is notrequire different, incompatible manage- swamped with technical questions.SAP White Paper – Mobile Applications May Be Running the Business, But Who’s Running the Apps? 7
  7. 7. Accommodating Both Business Needs and Evolving Mobile TechnologiesScaling Mobile Business Operations withScalable Application ManagementUnderstanding what is involved in applica- •• The platform also supports HTML5 Figure 1: Container Concepttion management is one thing, but how do and JavaScript (the standard scriptingyou pursue an effective application man- language used to create Web applica-agement strategy that is responsive to tions). This important capability isthe mobility needs of an organization? used to build hybrid mobile applica- Application with generic business logic Workers are pushing for mobility tions. A hybrid application consists ofbecause the enabling technology makes a Web app that runs in a native appit possible for them to work in better “container” installed on the mobile Android (or other) containerways. Companies are turning to mobile device (see Figure 1). Hybrid applica-devices because of the efficiencies and tions significantly reduce the cost ofproductivity gains they realize by doing mobile application development while Android-specific hardware functionsso. In many cases, a company’s mobility delivering the performance of a device-infrastructure lags behind its mobility specific native application.ambitions. An effective application man- •• The platform allows you to extend youragement strategy needs to enable mobil- portfolio of mobile apps to new device Android-specific data storageity rather than obstruct operations, and types by adding new device-specificit needs to accommodate changing busi- containers.ness needs as well as evolving mobile •• All applications built on the platform Access to back-end databasestechnologies. tie into back-end corporate data and What capabilities does an application support server-driven events, mes-management strategy need to support? sages, and notifications. •• All applications built on the platformWhat to Look for in an Applica- support a single, consistent encryptiontion Development Platform across different devices.An application development platform is Companies that mandate the use of athe cornerstone of a scalable mobile single application development platformapplication management strategy. Mobile for all their internally developed andapplications developed on a common vendor-built mobile applications will sim-platform share data, and they can be plify near-term application managementmanaged with a common set of applica- and help ensure long-term compatibilitytion management tools. These are key for all the mobile applications in theirpoints in a business environment that can portfolio. This compatibility will be consis-easily depend on hundreds or thousands tent across all devices, even new devicesof mobile applications. What makes for an that have not yet reached the market.ideal application development platform?An enterprise-grade mobile application Distributing, Configuring, andplatform will have these characteristics: Maintaining Mobile Applications•• Applications built on the platform eas- ily port to different types of mobile The heart of an effective application man- devices. agement strategy is a robust application•• The platform supports standard appli- management platform. This platform pro- cation development languages like vides tools needed for application distri- C++ and others. bution and configuration, managing who
  8. 8. gets which applications, and managing needs to provide visibility into devices applications on user devices, manydifferent methods of application distribu- enabled for business use. Dynamic business applications are best man-tion (see Figure 2). Here are key capabili- device interrogation provides real-time aged through a company or enterpriseties of an enterprise-grade application information such as what version of an app store. This enables employees,management platform: operating system a device is running partners, and even customers to•• Compatibility with the widest selec- so that the correct version of an appli- download applications as they need tion of device types and mobile oper- cation is remotely installed on that them. An enterprise-grade mobile ating systems – This is critical in that device. It can also monitor software application management platform will it enables an organization to support usage for accurately managing soft- include an app store distribution the most up-to-date mobile devices. It ware licensing agreements. model. Companies can organize their also gives an organization greater flexi- •• Group policy management – An app stores so that users are only able bility when creating a BYOD policy for enterprise-grade application manage- to install applications appropriate to employees. ment platform enables a company to their relationship with the company.•• Remote provisioning and control – preconfigure and distribute mobile This enables companies to push appli- applications to users based on their A good application management platform cations to remote devices over the device types, job functions, or other provides maximum control to the com- phone service network. It also allows criteria. This helps ensure that the pany, minimizes user configuration companies to remotely configure right people get the applications they headaches, and takes advantage of user devices, and it provides remote and need, and it reduces time spent by self-service opportunities. This enables automated security controls used to users configuring new applications mobility to scale within an organization secure data on lost, stolen, or decom- installed on their devices. in a cost-effective way. With these appli- missioned devices. •• Support for an “app store” distribu- cation management capabilities, it also•• Dynamic device interrogation – An tion model – While companies need becomes possible to build and enforce an application management platform to preconfigure and remotely install overall application management strategy.Figure 2: Application Management Ecosystem Corporate IT Mobile application Mobile application development management platform platform Company employees Partners and consultants • Devices provisioned with basic apps and • Service-cycle app support data at start of service • Group policy management to control • Download of additional apps from Company app store access company store • “Push” distribution of updates • App and data wiped at end of service Partners and consultants • Access to customer-facing applicationsSAP White Paper – Mobile Applications May Be Running the Business, But Who’s Running the Apps? 9
  9. 9. Managing Application Development and UseService-Cycle Approach toApplication ManagementWith solid application management capa- Managing Application Use having physical access to the device.bilities, it becomes possible to create a Over-the-air provisioning is an essentialplatform-based application management A traditional device-centric approach to feature of effective enterprise applicationstrategy that is both manageable and IT management considers IT manage- management.enforceable. ment tasks in the context of a device’s There are two broad aspects of appli- lifecycle. Productioncation management that are manage- Enterprise mobility is different for sev- The production phase covers that periodable through rules and technology-driven eral reasons. Increasingly, people bring when a device is in active service. Work-practices: their own devices into the workplace, and ers use applications appropriate to their•• Development and maintenance of they take their devices with them when job functions. They may download new applications they leave. Additionally, a company may applications from the company app•• Deployment and use of applications provide mobile applications to partners store. Periodically, the company will push who manage their own devices, and com- applications and application updates outManaging Application panies may work with consultants who to users over the service carrier network.Development need access to certain applications for An application management platform the duration of a consulting engagement. allows IT managers to do this for individ-In many ways, mobile application devel- Mobile application management is not uals as well as groups using group policyopment conforms to management rules so much about the lifecycle of devices as definitions and dynamic device interro-that govern the development of other it is about the period when a device is in gations. In this way it becomes possiblebusiness applications. These include: service with the company. It is in service to quickly modify business processes•• Defining a standard application devel- when an employee or partner is using it. and worker activities that depend on opment platform that ensures device It is out of service when it is lost or sto- mobile applications. and data compatibility len, an employee gets a new device or•• Defining an application’s business takes the device with him or her upon Decommission objectives leaving the company, or a contract rela- Decommissioning is the process of•• Defining the application’s user base tionship ends. taking a device out of service by remov- within the corporate ecosystem In a service-cycle approach to applica- ing all business applications and data.•• Defining version and device support tion management, the service cycle Devices can go out of service because an for the application consists of three phases. employee gets a new device or leaves the•• Proceeding with a normal application company, a consultant’s contract ends, development process Provision or a device is lost or stolen. An applica- Provisioning involves preparing a device tion management platform with strongTo effectively manage mobile applications, for use in the business environment by security controls provides a number ofit is necessary to build the apps to a stan- installing essential security and business ways to manually lock and wipe a device.dard that allows IT management to use applications. It may also include installing Devices can also be configured for auto-one set of application management tools. a platform-integrated, device-specific matic data fading. Some of these sameThis simplifies the process of configuring application container. This container controls work to delete all companyand deploying apps either directly to simplifies configuration of other business applications and data when a device nat-devices or through a company app store. applications. It also helps separate a com- urally ends its service life. An application pany’s business data and applications management platform enables IT man- from personal and other noncompany agement to perform decommissioning uses. With an application management functions over the air, and to manage platform, IT managers can quickly provi- mobile business assets without touching sion mobile devices over the air without personal data and applications.
  10. 10. Enhancing Productivity and SecurityOptimizing MobileOperations ThroughApplication ManagementIn the past few years there has been an essential tools for executing business Learn Moreenormous change in the types and capa- processes, they increasingly turn compa- For more information about developingbilities of mobile devices. As exciting as nies into real-time enterprises. The most and managing mobile apps that are corethese developments have been, they are successful companies will be those to your business operations, contact yourmerely the backdrop for an even more whose mobility implementations provide SAP representative or visitdisruptive trend. New application devel- the greatest, most secure usability for platforms and software technol- workers. Mobile application manage-ogies like hybrid applications are causing ment capabilities help ensure smoothmobile application development costs to mobile operations by:plummet. Companies are finding it easier •• Allowing workers to use the mobileto build mobile applications and easier to devices they prefer, which maximizesmake the business cases for developing their productivitythem. •• Simplifying the process of making It’s not hard to see how these trends workers’ devices ready for businessare redirecting the focus of corporate usetechnology managers. Many companies •• Supporting a large ecosystem ofare planning major deployments of new business-related users, including non-mobile applications. The September employees like partners, consultants,2011 white paper A Guide to Successfully and even customersDeploying Enterprise Mobile Applications, •• Lowering the investment required tocommissioned from Yankee Group by produce and deploy useful mobileSAP notes, “Key factors include the evo- , applicationslution of higher-speed mobile networks, •• Minimizing software configurationthe explosion of smart mobile devices, issues by enabling distribution of pre-users’ familiarity with apps and mobile configured applications so that theyapp stores, and a decrease in the costs install ready to runassociated with developing, distributing, •• Increasing worker engagementand maintaining mobile applications. through mobile applications specificThis has spurred companies to look to job roles, shared data, and thebeyond mobile e-mail and basic mobile convenience of a company app storeaccess to corporate databases and con- •• Providing robust security controlssider other applications to liberate enter- that prevent accidental data loss,prise data and more directly impact key enabling workers to perform criticalbusiness processes.” That is just a warm- business operations in a “safe” mobil-up for what is coming as companies and ity environmentemployees aggressively pursue opera- •• Enabling IT to efficiently manage ational advantages afforded by enterprise large portfolio of mobile businessmobility. applications Mobility makes people more produc-tive by placing core information, and the Companies that have the best mobilityability to take action, directly at the deci- implementations will be the ones thatsion point in a business process. As win in a world of real-time businessmobile business applications become engagement.SAP White Paper – Mobile Applications May Be Running the Business, But Who’s Running the Apps? 11
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