The App Store and Google Play Store revolutionized the process of installing applications on mobile devices. But these stores adopt a consumer-focused approach to creating apps, which creates challenges in business environments.
That is where an enterprise app store, which follows the consumer trend started by App Store and Google Play Store, is a logical initiative to carter the bring-your-own-device movement in the workplace. It’s what employees should access to find recommended and approved apps for work.
Custom enterprise app stores offer the same value in case of BYOD and company issued devices in terms of securely distributing mobile apps to employees and easing the burden of IT department to migrate apps to public app stores.
According to Gartner Research vice president Ian Finley, apps downloaded via public app stores create security problems, and cause disruption in security strategies. That is why companies are adopting enterprise app stores for greater control over apps and software expenditures, as well as greater negotiation leverage with vendors. The company says 25 percent of enterprises will have custom enterprise app stores by 2017 for managing apps on mobile devices and PCs.
Adopting an enterprise app store
The 2 main steps for adopting an enterprise app store for your company are:
1. Plan custom app types and access
It’s important to access the apps to be delivered throughout the organization. While this list is complied, you should consider the type of app (Mobile app, windows based, etc.), and whether it will be distributed across the entire organization or among specific user groups.
App development services such as Kony mobile applications development will let you design, define, and quickly deliver multi-channel app experiences with cloud-based collaboration. You could even use such resources to share prototypes for approval/experiment between designers, developers, and users within your organization.
2. Define security policies
Organizations adopting the app store must be focused on their fiduciary responsibility to protecting sensitive company data, so it is important for IT teams to take key considerations such as the ownership of the device (is it owned by the organization, or the user) and access location (is the user request coming from within or outside the organization).
Based on these factors, you should create ‘trust levels’ for different access types and develop policies to determine specific actions to be taken with data and apps at trust levels.
Some additional benefits of adopting an enterprise app store besides greater control over apps include:
- No stringent restrictions
- Where public app stores prevent many features from reaching the business environment, enterprise app stores come as an alternative. For developers, the sky is the limit when it comes to building, distributing, and updating apps more quickly.
- Flexibility of devices
- As BYOD movement continues an upswing, employees will not be keeping separate devices for personal use and work. Instead, there could be separate personal and work profiles for different users. Custom app store wound enable cross-platform flexibility regardless of whichever devices an employee decides to use.
- Free up IT resources
- According to the mobile app-management company Partnerpedia, 86 percent of enterprises desire a self-service model where employees download apps directly, which frees up IT resources for more important tasks. IT can also utilize these stores for procurement of licenses, and push out updates for different applications.