As the use of mobile apps in the enterprise grows, companies are implementing – or considering implementing – their own enterprise app stores. By adapting the highly successful app store model, companies can experience many benefits, including:
- A convenient way to make approved corporate mobile apps and upgrades available to employees, partners and others
- The ability to control mobile device users’ access to confidential corporate data
- The ability to manage the types of apps employees use for business
Marco Nielsen, VP, Services at Enterprise Mobile, sees the growing use of corporate mobile apps driving the need to implement both mobile device management and mobile app management (MDM and MAM) on a large scale. Through professional and outsourcing services, Enterprise Mobile helps companies deploy and manage mobility initiatives across mobility platforms. Through work with global businesses, Nielsen sees enterprise app stores playing a significant role in how companies are managing both mobile devices and apps.
”Many of our global customers rely on an enterprise app store to rapidly deploy apps to iPads and other mobile devices,” Nielsen reports. “Their management solutions allow for deploying some apps worldwide but limit others to use in specific countries. That way, through carefully planned deployments, companies ensure that the mobile apps they have approved for use on their tablets and smartphones are used to their best advantage.”
Today it’s estimated that only 10 percent of enterprises have their own app stores, but that number is expected to jump. At last year’s Gartner Symposium/ITxpo, Peter Sondergaard, senior vice president at Gartner and global head of research, predicted that “by 2014, private app stores will be deployed by 60 percent of IT organizations.”
And in a recent article in Voice and Data, Gartner Research Vice President Brian Prentice wrote: “The dynamics that drive public app stores are consistent with those that will ultimately drive private app stores in the enterprises.” He recommends that enterprises provide access to more than their own mobile apps in their app stores. He also suggests including third-party apps, as well providing links to public app stores and enterprise content.
Wired magazine blogger Scott Schwarzhoff suggests that an enterprise app store can provide a wide range of services. In a post titled “How IT Can Better Equip the Mobile Workforce,” he writes that an enterprise app store can be a “unified store for all apps and data, app availability based on role, app request workflows, self-service subscriptions, native app delivery for mobile devices in use, and ‘follow-me’ access to information across devices.”
Managing mobile apps for the enterprise is challenging. An enterprise app store provides a proven means of controlling and managing them for a medium-sized business or a large global enterprise.