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MDM vs MAM: What’s the difference?

Nov 13, 2020 | 42Gears Team

Mobile device management (MDM) and mobile application management (MAM) are both important terms for any IT department. Still, each term makes the most sense when compared to the other. It’s important that you take the time to understand MDM vs MAM, or mobile device management vs mobile app management.

Read on to learn how to distinguish these terms, and why you need both to keep devices safe at work.

Defining MDM vs MAM

Mobile Application Management

Mobile application management, as the name suggests, involves remotely managing specific applications on mobile devices. MAM tools empower admins to control specific apps and their data, without impacting the overall device.

MAM tools can control what data apps can send and request to and from a device, and what an app can do. By using MAM tools to define what apps can and cannot monitor, admins can ensure apps work efficiently, and do not record unnecessary data.

Modern MAM tools also offer context-based policies that control how and when employees can use apps. Admins can control app use based on factors like time of day and location.

Finally, MAM can also provide workers with the freedom to download pre-approved apps when needed. For example, admins can create an Enterprise App Store that workers can access and obtain apps from at any point in time.

Mobile Device Management

On the other hand, mobile device management involves remotely managing devices in ways that impact the entire device. This means that apps and data will be impacted by mobile device management tools, along with everything else on a device.

MDM includes important tools for onboarding new devices. This includes enrolling and provisioning devices, setting them up with a pre-determined bundle of settings, apps, and data. It also includes key functions like tracking devices on a map, or tracking battery charge over the course of a day.

Many security tools also fall under the category of mobile device management. For example, admins can use MDM tools to lock or wipe lost or stolen devices remotely. MDM functionality also includes the ability to obtain usage data, and use analytics software to gain insight from that data.

Why Is MDM vs MAM an Important Distinction?

Simply put, modern workplaces need both mobile device management and mobile application management. Missing either one is inefficient, and could result in major security issues.

If you have MDM tools without MAM tools, you will not be able to monitor or control app activity on a given device. This can cause major problems when apps unnecessarily drain battery life or interfere with other apps, and admins are unable to fix them.

If you have MAM tools without MDM tools, you won’t be able to keep apps safe, because you will have no way of tracking or securing devices. Even if admins are in full control of every app, it is a moot point if someone steals a device and accesses sensitive data. Without MDM tools, ensuring device users follow best practices for securing their devices will be hard.

Are MDM and MAM Tools Enough?

Comparing mobile device management vs mobile app management is less important than realizing they are both essential. However, they are not sufficient for any modern enterprise. Any software you use should also include the following:

  • Mobile Content Management (MCM): This is the ability to manage files and data on each device. This includes the ability for admins to push, update, and remove content from devices at will.
  • Mobile Identity Management (MIM): MIM includes the tools needed to verify the identity of anyone accessing secure networks or data.
  • Mobile Email Management (MEM): With MEM tools, admins can make sure that workers can only access and send work emails to and from secure, pre-approved email clients.

In the modern workplace, it should come as no surprise that devices, apps, files, and emails all interact with each other throughout the course of the workday. Thus, in order to manage any of these, you must have the tools to manage all of them.

SureMDM by 42Gears includes all of these tools and more. In addition to being easy-to-use, SureMDM comes packed with all of the features admins need to quickly master MDM and MAM. This way, you can put any confusion about MDM vs MAM behind you.

Master both MDM and MAM with SureMDM


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