Enterprise Mobility (Part IV): Mobility Platforms

If you are in the middle of selecting and/or researching for mobility platforms, it is very likely that you may come across variety of vendors offering platforms types such as:

  • Mobile Enterprise Application Platform (MEAP)
  • Mobile Cosumer Application Platform (MCAP)
  • Mobile Application Development Platform (MADP)
  • Mobile Device Management (MDM)
  • Enterprise Mobility Management Suites (EMMS)

Should an organisation have all these platforms? Or are these platforms just buzzwords? These terms, on one hand represent the evolution of the mobility platforms, while on the other hand to a certain degree, creativity of the analysts who coined and keep coining these terms.

Mobility platforms are evolving from 2 broad sets of enterprise mobility requirements:

1. Platforms for developing and managing mobile applications during run time, and
2. Platforms for managing administration and security of data and devices

At the beginning of their evolution cycle, mobility application platforms, were referred to as MEAP or MCAP and more recently this family is referred to as MADP. Similarly, the mobility admin & securliy platforms which were referred to as MDM earlier, are now referred to as Enterprise Mobility Management Suites by Gartner in their 2014 Magic Quadrant report.

Mobility application platforms typically offer the following:
– Development Environment, which can be used to build cross platform apps
– Run time environment or server-side environment for data routing, transformation and movement / integration / syncing between mobile devices hosting the mobile apps and back-office applications
–   Mobile Apps Administration in terms of user management, version management, etc.

Mobility Admin and Security Platforms offer the following features:
– Mobile Devices Lifecycle Management: Registration, Administration, Retirement
– Device Trackinig
– Data Security & Encryption
– Data back-up
– Remote data wipe-off
– Private App Store
– Remote support

Considering that Mobility application platforms offer much more than development toolkit, one wonders as to why they should be called as Mobile Application Development Platforms.

A lot of platform vendors from both the families of these platforms, are already offering overlapping functionality, particularly, Mobility Application Platforms are fast encroaching into the area of Enterprise Mobility Management suites. I expect these two types of platforms to consolidate into single platform. So, in case you are in the middle of choosing either (and particularly) the application platform or mobility management suites, then make sure to check the product roadmap of these platforms.

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