How can mobile app virtualization improve BYOD app access?

Mobile app virtualization isn't a new technology, but the latest generations of smartphones have made this technology more viable for everyday use for enterprise mobile users.

Recent innovation and enhancements in mobile devices paved the way for compute-heavy processes such as mobile app virtualization.

Newer mobile devices tend to have faster processors, more storage and higher quality displays, and this allows mobile users to access more complicated and resource-intensive applications on their mobile devices to complete work tasks.

These work tasks include accessing corporate content and data input, as well as messaging clients and team members. Users rely on mobile apps to complete these critical tasks while away from their workstations, so when a device is lost or replaced, IT must ensure users can access those applications again in a timely fashion. To accomplish this, IT can roll out most mobile apps with a mobile device management (MDM) platform or via the managed Apple App Store or Google Play.

However, enterprise IT departments don't have the time to download apps for each device. Despite the use of MDM for large-scale app deployment, there are still concerns around how to manage BYOD smartphones, tablets and more. Mobile admins can't typically run the same management policies on personal devices.

Benefits of mobile app virtualization in the enterprise

Mobile app virtualization -- more specifically, mobile app streaming -- might be the best option to address the lack of administrative control on personal devices. The technology for streaming applications and content has been around for some time, and vendors such as Microsoft use this technology to quickly deliver complex applications, such as the Microsoft 365 suite, to end users.

Mobile app virtualization -- more specifically, mobile app streaming -- might be the best option to address the lack of administrative control on personal devices.

This method doesn't require IT to perform installations and configurations; the idea is to connect mobile users with streamed mobile applications from a centralized server. Eventually, users may be able to access enterprise applications without any prior installation or configuration. This will likely change the way mobile devices interact with applications and how IT deals with work applications on personal devices.

In addition to ease of management on personal devices, there are other significant benefits that mobile app virtualization and streaming will bring to enterprise organizations:

  • Application portability. Users don't have to limit their work application access to a single device. Instead, they can load enterprise applications on multiple approved devices and access the same data and files.
  • Application isolation. The application will only live on the mobile device while it is in use. Therefore, data is protected and never stored locally on the device.
  • Wide ranging application access. Research shows that virtual application streaming will change the way mobile applications are deployed. Enterprise organizations will likely run the applications on edge servers, which can be located by cell towers. The mobile devices can locate the nearest server and access the applications that way when needed.

Mobile application virtualization success in the gaming industry

Enterprise organizations can look at the video game industry to see proven application streaming in practice. Sony PS4 and Google Stadia are both popular platforms that use streaming to deliver video games to consoles such as the PS4 and Google Chromecast. In this case, the applications are the video games instead of the Microsoft 365 suite that enterprise users need.

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