Mobile application management

Mobile application management (MAM) describes software and services responsible for provisioning and controlling access to internally developed and commercially available mobile apps used in business settings on both company-provided and “bring your own” smartphones and tablet computers.

Mobile application management provides granular controls at the application level that enable administrators to manage and secure app data.[1] MAM differs from mobile device management (MDM), which focuses on controlling the entire device and requires that users enroll their device and install a service agent.[2]

While some enterprise mobility management (EMM) suites include a MAM function, their capabilities may be limited in comparison to stand-alone MAM solutions because EMM suites require a device management profile in order to enable app management capabilities.[3]


Enterprise mobile application management has been driven by the widespread adoption and use of mobile applications in business settings. In 2010 International Data Corporation reported that smartphone use in the workplace will double between 2009 and 2014.[4]

The “bring your own device” (BYOD) phenomenon is a factor behind mobile application management, with personal PC, smartphone and tablet use in business settings (vs. business-owned devices) rising from 31 percent in 2010 to 41 percent in 2011.[5] When an employee brings a personal device into an enterprise setting, mobile application management enables the corporate IT staff to download required applications, control access to business data, and remove locally cached business data from the device if it is lost, or when its owner no longer works with the company.[6][7]

Use of mobile devices in the workplace is also being driven from above. According to Forrester Research, businesses now see mobile as an opportunity to drive innovation across a wide range of business processes.[8] Forrester issued a forecast in August 2011 predicting that the “mobile management services market” would reach $6.6 billion by 2015 – a 69 percent increase over a previous forecast issued six months earlier.[8]

Citing the plethora of mobile devices in the enterprise – and a growing demand for mobile apps from employees, line-of-business decision-makers, and customers – the report states that organizations are broadening their “mobility strategy” beyond mobile device management to “managing a growing number of mobile applications.”[8]

App wrapping

App wrapping was initially a favored method of applying policy to applications as part of mobile application management solutions.

App wrapping sets up a dynamic library and adds to an existing binary that controls certain aspects of an application. For instance, at startup, you can change an app so that it requires authentication using a local passkey. Or you could intercept a communication so that it would be forced to use your company's virtual private network (VPN) or prevent that communication from reaching a particular application that holds sensitive data. [9]

Increasingly, the likes of Apple and Samsung are overcoming the issue of app wrapping. Aside from the fact that app wrapping is a legal grey zone, and may not meet its actual aims, it is not possible to adapt the entire operating system to deal with numerous wrapped apps. In general, wrapped apps available in the app stores have also not proven to be successful due to their inability to perform without MDM.

System features

An end-to-end MAM solution provides the ability to: control the provisioning, updating and removal of mobile applications via an enterprise app store, monitor application performance and usage, and remotely wipe data from managed applications. Core features of mobile application management systems include:

See also


  1. Steele, Colin. "Mobile device management vs. mobile application management". SearchMobile Computing. TechTarget. Retrieved 18 November 2015.
  2. Faas, Ryan. "BYOD Failure - Five Big Reasons Why Employees Don't Want to Use Their iPhones, iPads At Work". Cult of Mac. Retrieved 18 November 2015.
  3. Silva, Chris; Wong, Jason (30 June 2014). Use the Mobile App Mix to Choose an Enterprise App Store Strategy. Gartner. p. 6. Retrieved 18 November 2015.
  4. Unisys Consumerization of IT Study 2011
  5. The Economist, “Beyond the PC: Survey on Personal Technology,” 2011-10-08, page 11
  6. Gruman, Galen, “Mobile Edge,” ‘’InfoWorld’’, 2011-4-26
  7. Why Business Needs Mobile Application Management Solution?, 2017-10-05
  8. McCarthy, John C., and Pelino, Michele, ‘’Mobile Management Takes a 180-Degree Turn,’’ Forrester Research, 2011-08-11
  9. The Science of App Wrapping, Network World, 2013-05-07 Archived 2013-07-01 at the Wayback Machine
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