Choosing and delivering enterprise mobile apps

Guide to consumer and enterprise mobile apps

In the consumerization era, employees use both personal and enterprise mobile apps to get work done. But how's an IT administrator supposed to control and deploy all those applications?

There are a few different ways to handle applications, but whatever approach you take depends on what you need from enterprise mobile apps. For example, the debate over whether native or Web apps are better for enterprise use comes to a subjective conclusion: It depends on what you can manage, what employees use for work and what developers can build.

Choosing cloud apps is the same story. There are a lot of options for cloud storage applications and services, but you have to pick one based on how employees will use it. There are also a couple of application delivery strategies to pick from, including making corporate apps mobile, using an app store or using application virtualization.

This guide has the details on enterprise mobile app options, deployment strategies and more for admins dealing with a growing number of employees clamoring for work apps on personal devices.

Table of contents:

Application basics

Eleven enterprise mobile application definitions you should know

There's more to mobile apps than you may think. For example, sometimes it's difficult to tell the difference between a native app and a Web app because there are so many hybrid apps these days. Plus, app wrapping is part of mobile application management, but there's much more to MAM than that. It's important for IT pros to be up on mobile terminology, and a guide to mobile app definitions is a great place to start.

Choosing the right cloud and mobile apps

Google Drive versus Dropbox

Picking a winner in the Dropbox vs. Google Drive battle is pretty much impossible; it's not because they're identical services, but because it's a decision that has to be made on a case-by-case basis. Either one could be a good choice, but it depends on what your company and users require. If you want straight cloud storage, then Dropbox might be right. But if you use other Google apps and services, then Google Drive could be a good fit.

Delivering and deploying enterprise mobile apps

Using enterprise application stores to manage consumerization

With enterprise app stores, you can control which users get which applications within your organization. By offering enterprise alternatives to popular consumer mobile applications such as Evernote and Dropbox, sensitive corporate data is more secure. But for an enterprise app store to be effective, it needs to be able to manage mobile apps and data, enforce policies, remove data from devices as needed, and comply with regulations and licensing.

Video: The great app debate

Native apps versus Web apps

Web apps work on more devices, but native apps work better on their host devices, so how's an admin to choose which kinds of apps to deploy? As with most dilemmas in the consumerization era, it depends on the use case. If you want to take advantage of a certain OS's features, it's better to use native apps. But if you're looking to get an app to various device types and operating systems, then Web apps would be better.