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How To Manage Third Party Apps In An Enterprise Network
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A few weeks back, I was in the US for a business meeting and happened to participate in the panel that was discussing about how enterprises can regulate the entry of third party apps and mobile devices in their corporate network. I believe this was the right time to discuss this issue, considering the amount of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policies that have started to emerge at enterprise levels. The speeches given by various panellists and audiences gave a clear indication that businesses are gravely concerned about the increasing pervasiveness of third party mobile apps in enterprise networks. Another thing that I observed was that most people present there have no idea about what does it mean and how to get started to tackle it.
We assume that MDM or Mobile Device Management concept is new but let me tell you that it has been around ever since we started using laptops. During that time, IT sections had to think about how to secure devices that leave office premises and scenario is more or less, same until now. At present, this problem is exponentially greater because numerous devices come into the office that have completely different user setup because their makers are different. In earlier times, MDM was the synonym of dealing with emails on BB phones and at that time, it was extremely easy for IT team because of the presence of a singular app on a singular platform. At present, the concept of mobile apps has reached far beyond emails and started touching important aspects of business like CRM and ERP. This brings the complexity of platforms, form factor as well as the applications. This is why IT sections of all enterprises are terrified about the sudden explosion of enterprise mobility. This factor forces IT sections to face another major problem related to the advent of third party apps i.e. security or risk mitigation. However, there is no denial that once security issue is tackled; the only point remaining is how to leverage the new mobility or mobile app paradigm to use it to its maximum strength.
Now on the question of how to how to manage the invasion of third party apps and mobile devices my recommendation is to begin with a navigator that has a well-defined scope. The term "scope" refers to selecting finite set of apps to test with, and then pick your favourite platform and a friendly group of users to test them. While testing, define some real world scenarios to test out like the ability to publish an internally developed or externally licensed app. You can also restrict the usage of certain apps for certain users apart from defining a strict apps usage policy such as mandatory installs etc. You can also test out the version update and most importantly, you can organize a mock drill of an enterprise mobile device being stolen or lost kind of situation to test the responsiveness of your process.
By exercising this pilot process, business owners will get to learn a lot and this knowledge can be used further to plan a broader strategy for safeguarding enterprise network from third party apps and smart devices invasion. However, in this pursuit, IT section should not forget its main target i.e. to safeguard the network and empower end users through innovations and give them an effortless mobile app usage experience. By these steps only, a company can tackle the issue of third party apps, maximize its revenue and stay in the competition.
The author is a part with one of the leading enterprise applications development company. It is considered one of the most reputed mobile app developers in Dallas Tx. The iPhone apps development Dallas company has created more than 300 apps for clients.
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