Mobile Security and Application Ecosystems in Flux

K. Weldon
K. Weldon

Summary Bullets:

  • Managed mobility services for TEM/MDM are maturing and commoditizing, and the ecosystem of vendors partnering with carries and SIs has settled down to a handful of leading platforms.
  • Now that mobile apps and mobile security are leading opportunities for service providers, they may once again have to pick the right partners, this time from a complex set of vendors which each approaches the market differently.

Mobile operators and IT service providers have been offering managed mobility services for several years, but the set of services is expanding.  While TEM (and associated logistics for ordering and provisioning devices and services) and MDM were the primary offers, there is currently a focus on new services for mobile application development and management and for mobile security.  On the application development side, while carriers had initially made partnerships for mobile enterprise application (MEAP) services using the platforms of vendors such as Antenna Software and SAP/Sybase, there is now a broader ecosystem of vendors that offer development tools, pre-written mobile apps, and enhanced enterprise app stores.  Mobile application management (MAM) is also a relatively new category, offering ongoing lifecycle management and usage analysis/optimization of mobile apps once they have been deployed.  On the security side, application-level security (also called ‘app wrapping’) is being offered as an alternative or complement to device, network, and perimeter security options to safe-guard data accessed from or resident on mobile devices.  There have also been a number of recent acquisitions that will affect the choices of vendors made directly by enterprise buyers and by service providers.

Some (but by no means all) of the ‘new’ vendors in this complex ecosystem include:

Application Security

  • Nukona (recently acquired by Symantec), providing application-level security (app wrapping), a secure enterprise app store, and application expense management, all positioned as key components in a world of ‘unmanaged’ (i.e., BYOD) devices
  • Mocana, providing fine-grained application level control (including DLP, access control, and VPN) and allowing IT to add security easily to new and existing apps without coding


  • App47, a MAM vendor that ‘instruments’ mobile apps with automated systems for monitoring and reporting, with a single portal to manage, configure, update, and enforce compliance and management of apps and provisioning workflows (the goal is to provide peak performance and maximum uptime by measuring how well transactions are processing and analyzing the root cause of errors)
  • Apperian, a MAM and enterprise app store provider that enables customers to create and secure enterprise apps with its SDK, deploy apps over the air in seconds, and manage the application portfolio through a custom branded application catalog (even on personal devices) and a Web-based management portal

Mobile App Development

  • Worklight (recently acquired by IBM), providing development, integration, and management of rich native, Web, or hybrid mobile apps with studio, server console, and device runtime components to facilitate the process
  • AnyPresence, a cloud-based platform for building mobile enterprise HTML5 and native apps, without requiring installation of development tool or SDKs

These are just the tip of the iceberg.  In addition to these vendors (and others), the original MEAP and MDM platforms of vendors such as Antenna Software and Fiberlink have also added some of the more extensive application development, ongoing lifecycle management/MAM, and security capabilities noted above.  Overall, there is a focus on protection, optimization, and ongoing management of mobile data and applications in a BYOD world; these enhancements and new offerings reflect the global surge in use of mobile devices for enterprise applications, as businesses increasingly leverage mobility to make business processes more productive.

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