Our CTO Andy Glover is about 12 hours ahead of us right now, over in Hong Kong explaining to attendees of MoDevAsia 2013 that a top challenge facing enterprise mobile apps is to examine their performance in the complete context of the entire mobile application lifecycle.

That, Andy maintains, is what can sell a mobile app’s impact short. App management and analytics is about a lot more than just installs and upgrades. That is, quite literally, just the beginning. Analytics should be about a much larger picture that folds in factors including distribution, fault detection, configuration and security.

What all that really adds up to — what the entire enterprise mobile app lifecycle constitutes — is the evolution of apps from disruptive innovation to management situation. Like any technology, mobile apps require management once they solve a challenge, and overlooking their need for smart management is putting their performance at risk.

His MoDevAsia talk is really as much a history lesson as it is evangelizing on behalf of enterprise mobility. Consider, for example, how wireless networks have had to contend with the explosion of smartphones and tablets, devices that put completely unanticipated demands on data channels. This raises the question of what we are trying to protect with respect to mobility. Is the priority the device? The app? Industries of every stripe, from appdev to operating systems, are shaping answers to these questions that form the very definition of enterprise mobility management.

For us, as articulated today by Andy in Hong Kong, is that the power lies in the data. The best way to protect that data, whether in a mobile IT environment or any other, is a layered approach that accounts for devices, platforms, networks, and apps. It’s the timeless thinking that we can’t set aside just because we’re enamored with the latest breakthrough. We need to check our history, learn from it, and move forward as informed as we are eager. That’s how enterprise mobility will capture all four corners of the globe.