Enterprise App Stores: What Is It? Who Needs It?
Mobile apps strategies
By: Sam Liu
Aug. 23, 2011 11:00 AM
With the proliferation of mobile devices being used in the workplace, and the concept of BYOD (Bring Your Own Devices [to work], "the Consumerization of IT" is not just buzz in the marketplace - it is a reality for many corporations, and soon to be mainstream. Needless to say corporate IT is now facing the challenge of controlling the distribution and management of applications being used on mobile devices in the workforce. Most firms currently don't have in-house mobile development and management teams at their disposal, and as such are turning more and more to Enterprise App Stores (EAS) as a solution.
But what is an Enterprise App Store?
Simply put: An Enterprise App Store for corporate IT (not to be confused with app stores that sell business apps) allows a company to securely control the licensing, distribution and management of approved applications to end users more effectively. Designed for the new generation of tablet computers, smart devices and cloud computing platforms, the Enterprise App Store is a way to ensure corporate policies and procedures are met while giving employees the user-friendly experience commonly found in consumer style app stores.
How is it different from Mobile Device Management?
There are certainly some overlaps such as data wipe and authentication, but fundamentally the two come from very different perspectives. Mobile Device Management, as the name implies, is focused on what's happening on the device, such as inventorying all apps on a device and enforcing security policies associated with it. Enterprise app stores, on the other hand, deliver a "consumer style" app store experience for end users, while providing IT with full control over which apps gets published, how it's vetted, and how they're distributed and managed on an individual user level.
What are the benefits of an Enterprise App Store?
What types of Enterprise App Stores exist and how do they differ?
Recently, there have been a number of vendors offering Enterprise App Store solutions, including Partnerpedia. Each with a slightly different approach and all with the goal of providing end users the ease and flexibility of consumer app stores while enabling IT to securely control policies and procedures:
With no slowdown in sight with respect to mobile devices entering the enterprise, now is the time for IT administrators to take a look at their mobile apps strategies to determine how they plan to support the myriad of devices and applications that is sure to grow within their company. Planned accordingly, this presents not only an opportunity to get ahead of the inevitable challenges sure to come, but is also a chance to reinvent how the company distributes and manages applications across all users and endpoints so that users can be more productive while saving the company money in the long run.
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