VMI or Virtual Mobile Infrastructure is the delivery platform, that does not require an application or OS to run sensitive mobile apps for business perfectly well on any device at all.
This means that if an app is bought or developed on one particular device or mobile phone, and functions via a VMI then any and everyone you want can use this app, in any OS and any device plausible. For example, an employee with Apple device can use the Android app with the use of VMI.
Why you should have a VMI?
Going in deep with the process, any app, whether it be developed for your purpose specifically or whether it be a third party app, downloaded from any app store; it can be affiliated with VMs, at a one time cost. This app then can be used by anyone on any device of any OS even if the original app is limited to being an iOS app, an Android app or a Windows one, it is now compatible to work on all the OS.
The VMI technology hosts all the mobile apps and runs on a remote server. The employees or the end users will have just a thin app on their device.
Image Source: nubosoftware
The company can choose to give access to any team member or employee. The app will open and close in the VM itself, saving data, not on the device but the server that is used for BaaS. Once the employees leave the office, shredding the professional side and moving towards the personal, the VMI access can be denied, allowing the team mate to create an innate balance between his/her personal and professional life.
Another plus point of applying VMI as a part of your enterprise mobility strategy is that it covers the huge loopholes that BYOD opens. It is costly to make an app that works on every OS and across all the models and yet this is what BYOD demands. But with the VMs, there is no need to create an app that is compatible across all OS. Any app made, regardless of the OS or the platform; will deliver on every device, giving a needed push to the already developing Enterprise Mobility. Whoever gets access to the VMI, can reach through to the app, whichever phone they might have, making BYOD work without security challenges and without extensive monetary investments.
Who can benefit from VMI? Who can use this platform?
Organizations that place high priority on data security, can benefit from the VMI implementation. U.S. Department of Defence (DoD) has been using VMI since long to secure their mobile computing.
Many enterprises or business scenarios, apart from the defence can evaluate VMI. Some of them are:
Healthcare: Enabling access to secure health records of the patients in compliance with HIPAA Privacy Rule. Under this act the consumers are given rights to protect their health information by healthcare providers. But in certain cases, this information has to be shared to ensure that the patient receives the best treatment. So for time being access to the records can be given easily by VMI.
Retail Industry: Used where Point of Sale as a Service is used for credit card transaction. It protects the confidential data of the customers’ cards.
Classified Mobility: This is for the government and the security services to access data and applications from the classified mobile in compliance with the NAS’s Mobility Capability Package.
Consumer-facing Financial Apps: VMI can be used in financial apps securing the sensitive transactions and business processes that occurs in an organization.
VMI is a new technology that’s just getting started. There are technical and logistic challenges to be solved. To date, all VMI solutions have Android as the hosted OS, since Apple won’t allow iOS to run on third-party hardware or be controlled remotely.
1.9 billion devices are expected to hit the market by 2018, IDC forecasts. IT is thereby hunting for effective solutions to secure the enterprises. VMI could be a part of this secure solutions for sure.
“Even though VMI can be seen as an alternative the EMM and MDM and MAM, in reality VMI will most likely be used in conjunction with EMM”, correctly notes Brainmadden.
We already know the recent innovations made to make mobile enterprise more secure through Google’s BoringSSL and another is ACE. Though VMI is or seems to be the new technology of the new world, it cannot stand alone at its very dawn. However, this system is expected to shine blindingly as it grows up.