Lizzie
Warren

How to simplify Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) with UEM

Lizzie Warren

Aug 21, 2022

9 min read

Imagine our mobile phones with no apps on them… Sounds crazy, right? Each app that we use also has a lifetime and an app’s lifecycle is far more than just the time we spend building the code behind it. Meanwhile, the management of apps and software plays a crucial role in determining an organization’s productivity.

Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) refers to processes that manage and contribute to the lifecycle of an app from its development to retirement. It continues even after app development until it’s no longer used. Even though there are many apps that may help an organization meet its objectives, manual management of them can be time-consuming and hectic. You need a tool to help secure, monitor and manage every aspect of an app’s lifecycle. This is where Unified Endpoint Management (UEM) in ALM comes into play.

Explore Hexnode’s app management capabilities

What is Application Lifecycle Management (ALM)?

Application Lifecycle Management oversees software from conception to retirement and is concerned with the whole life cycle of an application. It is a blanket term that includes requirements management, development, testing, and quality assurance (QA), as well as customer support and IT service delivery. An app’s future can be determined through ALM, which thereby improves the decision-making capacity of the enterprise. Application Lifecycle Management even benefits businesses as it provides a clear direction for an app before its creation and helps to avoid unnecessary features and expensive mistakes.

Businesses adopt a UEM for the app lifecycle to enable the smooth distribution of apps and software to end-user devices. It helps IT administrators to use a single portal to deploy, manage, and monitor applications across all platforms (Android, iOS, macOS, tvOS, and Windows). Moreover, the UEM integrations with Apple Apps and Books, Managed Google Play, Android OEMConfig, and more ensure secure app distribution, monitoring and management in every aspect of the ALM.

Application Lifecycle Management Phases

An app has different stages in its lifecycle that include requirement collection, planning, designing, developing and lot more. The whole application lifecycle management (ALM) process is cut down into 3 phases by including all these stages. They are:

Governance Phase:

This phase makes necessary decisions about the application. The app creation initially starts with an idea or concept, which then lets you think about how it connects to your company’s requirements and goals. Idea pitching, Planning, Requirements analysis and tracking can be categorized under this umbrella. Application delivery will be accelerated by automating these governance procedures.

Development Phase:

This is a crucial phase that includes the creation and updation of applications. The app development process begins once you have an idea that satisfies the business goals. It covers designing, developing, testing and deploying processes of an application.

Operation Phase:

Operations and maintenance stage in this phase influence the application’s whole existence. Once the product is implemented, regular maintenance and IT customer assistance are offered to encourage users to utilize the app more frequently. During this phase, the software will be upgraded to a newer version or suspended as a whole.

The role of UEM in Application Lifecycle Management (ALM)

The usage of UEM aids in the seamless execution of these application lifecycle management phases. It assists administrators to install, configure, manage, and monitor apps and software on end-user devices in a secure manner. The UEM facilitates the silent installation, updation, and removal of apps on a large number of devices within an organization. It even enforces strong application security regulations by pushing policies for blacklisting and whitelisting apps on controlled devices and preventing users from adding unproductive or hazardous apps. The different stages in the lifecycles of apps in UEM include:

  • App onboarding
  • App configuration
  • App deployment
  • App monitoring
  • App de-provisioning

App onboarding

As the saying goes “First impression is the best impression”, app onboarding is the finest approach for impressing customers. This is the initial point of interaction a user has with an app and the most important stage of the user’s experience. From this experience, the app life can be determined. If it is properly onboarded, the user will be more willing to utilize it.

Application Lifecycle Management_App_UI
IT has complete control over all aspects of application management.
 

The fact is that when an app takes too long to figure out, people may lose interest. New data research states that 25% of users abandon an app after only one use, and 77% abandon an app within 72 hours of downloading it.
App onboarding enables organizations to engage with their consumers smartly with a positive user experience. With the help of UEM, store apps, custom enterprise apps, web apps and Managed Google apps can be added to controlled devices in an organization. Uploading apps into UEM and pushing them, creating app groups and app collections are all features offered by UEM in the application lifecycle.

App configuration

“To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.”
— Winston Churchill

This change for perfection is reflected in the app’s life through periodic app version updates. Such updates assist in establishing a loyal user base since they provide design improvements, user-requested features and fix bugs in the apps. With UEM solutions, the latest versions of store and enterprise apps can be maintained by performing just the over-the-air updates.

This process allows for real-time responses to changing needs. Specific settings within an app can be configured to suit the organization’s needs. UEM solutions enable preconfiguring these app settings before pushing it to the devices. As a result, IT administrators can guarantee that managed apps adhere to organizational standards.

App deployment

All of the stages, processes, and activities necessary to make a software system or upgrade it to its intended customers are referred to as app deployment. Hexnode’s UEM solution simplifies the deployment process by providing ‘App Management’ features that reduce burden on IT admins in installing, managing, and protecting apps.

We will see a lot of pop-ups asking for various app permissions each time we install a new app. These permissions are crucial for security and safety and the apps will not work better without them. This issue can be resolved by configuring app permissions on UEM. It assists in managing app permissions by allowing us to remotely control permissions for all of our fleet’s devices. Through this, we can ensure that critical data is only accessed by apps that have the appropriate rights.

Using UEM solutions, we can also isolate managed devices in app-specific kiosks and establish limited environments where IT can prevent users from interfering with device settings. It even assists the admin in deploying app updates without interfering with work. It allows businesses to create and deploy customized app libraries that allow end users to choose and install the applications they need from a list of approved apps.

App monitoring

When a child is born and is capable of living on their own, their parents will allow them to live independently by silently monitoring them. Similarly, app monitoring using UEM solution helps IT admins silently install, update, and remove store apps, web apps, and enterprise apps on managed devices. We are able to track the data consumption details of respective applications installed on devices. Apart from this, Hexnode UEM solution can be configured to prompt users via email when the mobile data usage crosses the set limit. We may also configure more than one data usage notification and restriction for a single app.

The UEM feature even helps to create a list of mandatory apps and remotely activate apps on devices. It is useful to track application compliance across the entire range of registered devices on a regular basis, and automatically group non-compliant devices using dynamic groupings to take immediate corrective action. Reports can be created and scheduled using the UEM solution to ensure that the app is properly monitored. The different types of reports that can be generated include reports on list of apps installed, per-app data usage report, popular apps report and more.

App de-provisioning

Even the greatest sportsmen retire to make room for the next generation, and so do the apps. Not all applications installed on the devices may be relevant after some time. This may demand the removal of the applications to create room on the device for newer ones. With the silent app uninstallation, the UEM solution makes it simple.

App De-provisioning assists enterprises in decreasing bottlenecks by removing user access to apps when an employee leaves the company. This is the reverse of provisioning, which is often done during the onboarding process, while de-provision is done during the offboarding process.

This procedure not only provides security to the enterprise by preventing a departing employee from accessing enterprise resources, but also it frees up disc space. Through this, the enterprise can easily onboard and offboard employees.

Conclusion

Isn’t it difficult to accept that the applications we use have such a complex lifespan, completing a great number of changes in short durations? Due to digitization, businesses all over the world are always hurrying to adopt new technologies. The usage of software is also rising across many industries and firms. By enhancing software quality and developer efficiency, ALM manages the lifecycle of software from its idea pitching stage to retirement.

The emergence of UEMs, like Hexnode into the corporate market provides comprehensive mobility management software as well as a suitable app lifecycle to support all major platforms such as Android, Apple TV, iOS, macOS, and Windows. This well-defined app management allows timely release by ensuring quality and control.

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Lizzie Warren

Passionate about learning new things and sharing it here! Product Evangelist @HEXNODE

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