Congratulations… You have been given the task to develop an app for your organization.
The App Development Journey
The first step you should take is to develop the app itself. You can develop two apps for iOS and Android or develop one app with a cross-development platform. People, who are not well familiar with enterprise development, might think that developing an app is the most important task to be carried out. However, enterprise deployment requires much more.
QA for instance, requires that you test your app endlessly using all the required hardware and software versions. Once that is completed, you go to move on to performing security checks (and we know how time consuming that may be). Several months have already passed since we set out on our app development journey and there is still a lot to be done.
Now, you need to go to the network infrastructure architect, decide together on the right architecture for your app and consider the best ways to access the enterprise data. This may result in additional costs for your organization when adding equipment such as VPNs and authentication protocols. It’s not only a matter of more time and resources spent, but it also creates obstacles to the app deployment process. Many app projects end here, because organizations don’t find secure ways to access the organization’s data.
The architecture also requires that you run the app inside an EMM container. This doesn’t only add additional resources to the process of wrapping the app into the container, but it also limits the app’s reach, which is only for managed devices.
Is There a Better Alternative?
Now, what if, after all has been said and done, you just realized that all your hard work could have been dramatically reduced.
For your next project, just remember that you can “Virtualize Your App”.
Mobile App Virtualization provides a way to run apps inside the datacenter, in a virtual mobile OS. Each virtual app is individually packaged and deployed to all types of mobile devices, as a thin client app. By removing the dependency between your mobile app and the physical device, you can save lots of time and resources during the app development journey:
First, you just need to develop the app for one environment and one OS version – the one that exists in the virtual environment that you control. You do not need to use cross-platform tools – just use your favorite development framework that is available on the target platform. You can develop it on any Android device or emulator.
You probably think that you have already got your money’s worth, when actually, your major time savings are yet to come. The QA activities are now becoming much faster. You just need to test your app in the virtual environment and you do not need to test it repeatedly on any device type or OS version. This doesn’t just dramatically decrease the QA time, but also minimizes the number of iterations needed between development and QA.
Now, security checks are also becoming much easier. The main threats that security checks on mobile apps, simply do not exist in a virtual environment. Virtual apps do not store any data on the device itself and the protocol between the apps and the datacenter is a remote display protocol that had already been tested using the stringiest penetration techniques.
You will make your network infrastructure guys really happy because now you do not need any architectural change to enable ways to access the enterprise data. This is done simply because the actual apps are already running in the datacenter. You won’t need to look for secure ways to access your data, as everything will be ready for you.
The virtual app itself can be deployed in different ways. It can still be deployed in your EMM enterprise app store, or as a standalone app, even in public app stores.
Now I’m sure that you can easily imagine how this approach can save you tons of time and money, during the development and deployment processes. Still, it will also help you afterwards – much of the work on mobile apps has to do with the continuous and much needed support and maintenance. With virtual apps, you do not need to worry about supporting mobile device upgrades, which that alone, provides you with a great deal of peace of mind.