Enterprise app stores are becoming a common feature in many business that have embraced BYOD and mobile devices like the iPhone and iPad. An enterprise app store offers two core advantages: it allows users to easily install apps developed internally and it allows IT managers and others to offer a set of recommended apps from public sources like Apple’s iOS App Store.
Given the thousands of business and productivity apps available for iOS devices (not to mention profession-specific apps in other categories), providing guidance to users can help get them started with the best tools quickly and easily. The tricky part, however, is deciding which public apps to include in an enterprise app store.
That’s a challenge for any company, but it can be a more difficult one for larger companies with a range of different departments that can span multiple industries. Regardless of the size of an organization, the best way to manage an enterprise app store is engage the employees that will use it. Building a team or committee that includes IT staff, managers, and employees from different divisions can be an excellent solution. If an organization is conducting a BYOD or mobile technology pilot program in advance of a larger roll out, users in the pilot group can serve as the team for planning an enterprise app store.
One thing to strive for in creating a team to curate apps for an enterprise app store is inclusivity. The group shouldn’t be so large that it becomes unwieldy to manage, but it should be broad and diverse enough that each department and each type of worker is represented. Administrative professionals, accounting personnel, and salespeople are as important to a successful app collection as executives and managers.
Another key factor is to keep the team together and active once an enterprise app store is launched. The iOS App Store is a dynamic catalog that’s always changing. An enterprise app store needs to be the same thing. It also needs to respond to feedback. Employees beyond the app team need a vehicle to suggest apps for consideration as well as to express criticism of selected apps.
Ultimately, an enterprise app store is all about the users that will install apps from it. Therefore it’s just common sense that those users should be involved in developing and maintaining it.