What is Mobile Application Management?

Mobile application management (MAM) is the process of controlling and securing Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications on devices owned either by the company or personally by the employee/user. Management typically includes provisioning apps sanctioned by the company and used for work purposes, updating and patching them for security purposes, as well as detecting any unsanctioned apps in use which may be prohibited by security policies. MAM is crucial for any business that connects mobile devices to the corporate network, regardless of whether the device is corporate issued or employee owned.

Unlike mobile device management (MDM), which focuses on complete device lifecycle management, MAM focuses on overseeing and protecting the data within the software applications employees use for work across different mobile devices. Popular examples of these applications include Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) apps like Microsoft Teams® and Zoom®, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) apps like Salesforce®, and other business-critical tools. That said, most MDM solutions incorporate MAM capabilities so companies can manage their devices and application security policies together in one fluid motion — handling settings at both the device and application level.

Mobile applications have become business critical, but not enough companies are prepared to successfully deploy, maintain, and secure those apps.

Application Management is Time Intensive

Comprehensive oversight of mobile applications requires significant company resources.

Whether devices are personally owned, corporate issued, or part of Device-as-a-Service (DaaS), an in-house approach to controlling and securing mobile applications is challenging for corporate IT departments, many of which are already overstretched.

Research shows an organization with 250 mobile-equipped employees will need just over one full-time staff member to manage all devices and apps at a cost of approximately $115k per year. Other studies show mobile device management can consume as much as 34% of an IT department’s time. Despite this significant investment, an in-house approach to MAM may still not deliver optimal results.

Shadow IT is a Problem

IT teams need full visibility into mobile application usage to minimize Shadow IT, a major issue in which employees make unsanctioned app purchases without the knowledge or approval of IT. Companies must ensure compliance and policy enforcement, for corporate-liable and privately-owned devices. Some of apps are free which increases their accessibility and adoption but create serious risk if sensitive data is shared. The proliferation of unfettered apps creates a feasting platter for cybercriminals with ever-advancing attack methods.

Security Requires Segmentation and Constant Monitoring for Compliance

Security policies must be enforced to protect data and keep corporate information safely separated. This can be particularly challenging for companies with a bring your own device (BYOD) approach, in which employees use their personally owned device for work. Security efforts must keep personally used apps and corporate data separate. Overall, it can be harder to ensure that employees are following organizational policies around data privacy, security, and usage. But these protections are also essential for corporate-liable models where sensitive data and personal information require tighter regulations.

For these reasons, security compliance must be consistently monitored.

IT teams must be able to track and update device status information at tight intervals, using real-time information to understand the current state of the corporate fleet and identify any devices considered a security risk or non-compliant. This requires tight integration and real-time syncing processes alongside an accurate inventory of all devices, apps in use, and their users.

In almost every case, a dedicated MDM platform for mobile application management saves companies money while making better use of IT’s time. Compounding this problem is the shocking 18% churn rate currently happening within the IT organization.

Cost Control is Also an Issue: Application License Management

When apps may be downloaded unbeknownst to the corporate IT team, companies are often paying for tools they may already have in place. Thus, Shadow IT creates unnecessary budgetary waste. At the same time, unused app licenses can also cause leaks in the IT budget. Application license management is an effort to unveil how efficiently or inefficiently each license is being used. For instance, discovering how many terminated employees are still assigned licenses. User analytics reveal any unused or underutilized resources, and reallocating licenses can further reduce spending.

Without a comprehensive approach to mobile application management, an organization has little to no control over the apps and data on mobile devices that connect to its network.

Here are three key benefits of mobile application management as part of an MDM solution:

Tighter Security & Compliance
MDM and MAM insert more control over mobile apps and devices (however they’re procured) using Unified Endpoint Management (UEM) software, widely considered to be the gold standard for securing mobile fleets and meeting even the most stringent mobile security and compliance requirements. In the case of BYOD, UEM also enables the crucial separation of users’ personal mobile apps from work-related ones.

Greater Productivity
IT teams are swamped by a host of MAM-related issues, from tracking and monitoring app usage to security concerns and usage rules. An MDM solution reduces the IT workload not just as it relates to mobile app management but end-to-end corporate fleet management.

Organizations benefit most from managed mobility services that put device experts behind the daily management of their fleet, like this Tangoe customer who is saving 300+ hours a year by letting experts take the reins.

Sharper Oversight and Cost Governance

An MDM solution pinpoints and centralizes all cloud applications (sanctioned and unsanctioned) in the IT environment, enabling IT teams to manage every app into a known state for compliance purposes. This signposts the way for regulatory policy decision making and Shadow IT discovery processes that can reveal both monitored and unmonitored apps needing tighter control and necessary recordkeeping.

An MDM solution also helps establish a working inventory with user analytics that provide deep insight into every SaaS app being used across the organization. With clarity into assigned licenses, user behaviors, usage history, and unused or even underutilized apps, IT leaders walk away knowing how to get more value from the resources they already own and how to reduce duplicate applications, consolidating vendors and lowering expenses.

Learn more about Tangoe’s UEM services and license management services, as part of our Tangoe One solution.

Three Examples of Mobile Application Management

Here’s how three Tangoe clients are benefiting from MAM services through Tangoe One:

  1. Wireless network leader Velaspan is using Tangoe One Mobile to simplify and streamline security and application upgrades across both corporate-owned and employee-owned devices. Application usage habits were changing and becoming increasingly complex as the business grew and users began working across more devices. To see how they achieved ROI in one year, read the full story here.
  1. Tangoe One Mobile was instrumental in helping a large, leading financial services institution effectively move from their current BYOD policy to a new mobile model while ensuring consistent security applications and procedures. See how they cleared security hurdles for a fleet of 7,000 mobile devices.
  1. With the help of Tangoe One Mobile, a home improvement store accelerated the implementation of a new global policy for their mobile fleet that significantly improved security management and saved more than $1M too. Read the full story here.

Tangoe One Mobile, Tangoe’s MDM software platform, is recognized as a 10-time Visionary in the Gartner Magic Quadrant MMS Global report for its application management services and ongoing optimization for even the most extensive global fleets. Tangoe’s AI-driven software supercharges administrative processes, enabling IT and financial teams to drive even more cost savings and efficiency gains.

Improve MAM and Cost Savings Simultaneously

Tangoe has the experience and expertise to secure your mobile applications while simultaneously gaining clarity on mobile spending trends that help you exercise better control over costs. IT and financial teams get comprehensive views of all mobile device expenses including hardware, software, and services with end-to-end mobile device lifecycle management support.

Streamline Processes using AI
Tangoe applies the power of AI to streamline mobility from start to finish — from device orders and application deployments to financial management, invoice processing, billing error discovery and disputes, and bill pay.

Get AI-Powered Cost-Saving Recommendations
Get smart recommendations for optimizing mobile costs – for example, consolidating duplicate SaaS apps and reallocating unused licenses. Industry-leading automation allocates and reallocates SaaS licenses using customizable no-code playbooks with 1,000 automated actions.

Sharpen Your MAM Strategy with Cost Management Consultants
Fine-tune mobile application management and your mobility program as a whole by analyzing device ownership strategies, benchmarking costs, and assessing contract terms and rates to minimize inefficiencies and maximize savings.

Need an extra hand? We’ve got dozens. Tangoe Advisory Services (TAS) puts an expansive team of mobile experts to work to help you gain even more strategic insights, receive deeper historical expense and usage audits, find the best services and devices, and more.

Don’t Stop at Mobility – Optimize Your entire Tech Ecosystem

Tangoe One provides a comprehensive platform to simplify, manage and optimize assets and expenses across the entire IT landscape, addressing not only mobile apps and devices but also telecom expense management (TEM) and cloud expense management (CEM) including private cloud, infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) and software-as-a-service (SaaS).