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Cortado 2014 Predictions - App Virtualization is a PC-Only Event

VMblog 2014 Prediction Series

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Contributed article by Henning Volkmer, president and CEO of Cortado

App Virtualization is a PC-Only Event

There are still those who don't want to come to terms with reality, but the truth is that Apple's iOS 7 has lead to the death of app virtualization, more specifically app wrapping, on post-PC devices.

For about two years, app wrapping was thriving and healthy. Many looked to it to conquer the Mobile Application Management (MAM) market by "wrapping" an additional layer of security around popular applications written for iPad, iPhones and various Android devices. Their then-current MAM solutions would control the flow of data in and out of "wrapped" applications as well as certain aspects of their behavior. But, app wrapping proved a tedious process, rife with both legal (licensing) and technical challenges.

It was soon discovered that there were never more than one to two dozen applications available for any MAM platform. Further adding to this setback, it was impossible for one platform to be used on another. Vendors who lacked market share were forced to compete with one another for the most popular applications. This severely limited the number of applications available. While this would not have been an issue in the past, it certainly is today for a company's official IT channels.

Today's users have more leverage than ever to demand the apps they want over those that IT or management pick for them. If their preferred app is not available, users will simply download it and use one of a vast number of cloud services to bring their data to the application. This is not only inefficient, but could be prohibited by company policy. For example, even the highest-ranking lawmakers of major western countries are ignoring national policies to use the device or service of their choice. If not even the law could control users, companies needed to find a way to adjust!

Apple and Samsung quickly realized the need for a more effective form of application management. Ergo, Samsung SAFE/Knox and iOS 7 were introduced. Both aim to provide more business-friendly features that enable a balance of power between productivity and security amongst users, without disturbing the user experience.

Perhaps the biggest game changer is iOS 7's "Managed Open-In" feature, which enables central management of an application during data exchange with other applications. It is the ideal addition to an on-premise solution for access to enterprise resources like files, databases and internal apps and can differentiate between personal and work data. "Managed Open-In" creates a native container on the device, avoiding the technical and legal usability challenges associated with app wrapping.

In the end, those who invested incredible amounts of time, effort and money in app wrapping never came close to competing with the managed apps offered in the iOS and Android ecosystems, and the launch of iOS 7 officially nailed the coffin shut. The industry must pay its condolences to app wrapping and instead move on to native, unmanaged solutions, such as Samsung SAFE/Knox and iOS 7, that will provide a more dynamic way of doing business with a perfect balance between security and productivity.


About the Author

Henning Volkmer is the president and CEO of Cortado, Inc., driving the execution of the company's strategy as the leading innovator of the business class of cloud desktop services across the Americas.

Volkmer has established a broad technological background and has been at the forefront of mobile technology trends for the past seventeen years. In addition to holding various positions within the Cortado group, Volkmer served as part of a project team focused on reducing costs in the network infrastructure division with what is now Nokia Siemens Network.

Under Volkmer's direction, ThinPrint brand has increased its lead as the premier print management software, while Cortado brand has become recognized as a pioneer business solution, shaping the future of the cloud desktop.

Originally from Berlin, Germany, Henning currently resides in Denver, CO.
Published Friday, November 15, 2013 12:01 PM by David Marshall
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