As more and more companies move forward with BYOD programs and/or mobile strategies centered around streamlining workflows for mobile professionals, the idea of the enterprise app store has gone from being a nice add-on feature to being seen as necessity for businesses, schools, and government agencies.
Developing a strategy around mobile apps is seen as a core need by a solid majority of companies – 66% of organization are considering or implementing internal app stores according to a Sourcebits survey of over 6,000 enterprises. That doesn’t mean that actually pursuing an enterprise app store strategy is an easy prospect.
Despite some advances in volume purchasing by Apple, many companies feel that mobile app options are still sub-par for their needs, particularly when it comes to the purchasing process and volume licensing.
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.
BYOD may be one of the big technology trends out there for businesses, but not every business wants or needs a BYOD program. BYOD is, of course, not a magic bullet for addressing every company’s mobile needs. It also isn’t guaranteed to deliver cost savings compared to providing employees with corporate owned and managed devices.
Companies not pursuing BYOD can still gain value from investing in some of the technology concepts and solutions that becoming a standard part of BYOD programs. After all, BYOD is one of the biggest trends of consumerized IT, but it is only one trend out of many.
Here are five key BYOD lessons that any business or organization can apply even without implementing a BYOD program.
Mobile app management company Apperian announced two new features for companies looking to expand the use of iOS, Android, and BlackBerry apps as part of an overall mobile strategy. One feature aims to connect end users within a company with IT staff and developers for collaboration on new and existing apps. The other is designed to give employees an easy way to rate and comment on apps already in use.
Apperian provides app management and deployment services for business and enterprise customers. The company’s EASE platform allows IT to create internal app stores showcasing both internal apps and public apps that are available through the iOS App Store. The company also provides a range of related services including the ability to push out apps and updates to devices over the air.
There’s been a lot of news stories this year about iPhone and iPad use by U.S. federal agencies. Most of those stories have been reports of agencies ditching BlackBerries for iPhones and/or iPads.
This week’s news from the FAA is different in that the FAA already has iPads in the hands of employees and the agency is planning to expand their user dramatically – to the point where employees will be offered a choice between an iPad and a laptop as their mobile computing device.
Apple’s concept of the App Store works well for consumers. Search for whatever apps you want or need and buy or download them with one-click shopping in iTunes of the App Store app on an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. That system starts to break down when it comes to iOS devices in the workplace, particularly for companies that create internal apps that need to be rolled out to a large number of users. It can become even more complicated when dealing with employee-owned devices because IT may never see the iPhone or iPads that are being used and therefore need a specific set of apps.
The best option for addressing this need is the concept of an enterprise app store – an app that users can install from a central location on their corporate network that will allow them to peruse a selection of apps developed by their company’s IT department as well as business apps from Apple’s App Store.