More enterprise app stores on the horizon: Gartner

More enterprise app stores on the horizon: Gartner

Summary: Call it BYOA (bring your own application). Unlike BYOD, however, enterprises will take more control of the situation with sanctioned apps available for quick downloads and deployments.

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Within the next four years, up to 25 percent of enterprises will have their own enterprise app stores for managing corporate-sanctioned apps on PCs and mobile devices, Gartner analysts said.

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(Image: CNET)

It's all part of the bring your own application (BYOA) trend that is starting to pick up steam, said Gartner's Ian Finley. Unlike bring your own device (BYOD), enterprises will take more control of the situation with sanctioned apps available for quick downloads and deployments.

It will also dramatically change the way software is procured within organizations. "Enterprise IT organizations should be transitioning from the traditional approach of selecting devices and software for users and instead, establishing transparent and enforced app curation policies — as is currently found in public app stores," said Gartner.

The consultancy also cautions that enterprises that do launch their own internal app stores, to be sure to stock them with a lot of choice. "Without a dynamic selection of apps to choose from, users will eventually have little reason to continue to visit an enterprise app store."

The enterprise app store concept also addresses many of the governance and business-value issues that flummoxed SOA and enterprise cloud proponents over the years. As Gartner described it: "An app store can be a natural way to share new applications within the enterprise, recognize great applications, provide feedback to development teams, and even create a bit of competition between them — all to drive the development of better solutions."

Not mentioned by Gartner is the fact that the app store model may potentially provide smaller developer operations more segue into larger corporations. Already, the public app stores have provided some new channels and opportunities to software publishers, and the corporate market is a big fat opportunity waiting to be opened up.

There may be impacts on the IT department as well. There will be further impetus for IT to compete more as cloud-like providers, or even serve as brokers to identify and bring in outside apps for distribution.

The public app store model is a compelling one, but there are distinctions between public and enterprise app stores that should be pointed out as well. Enterprise app stores seek to limit, not expand, sales, enterprise app store purchases/downloads need tight workflows, and enterprise app store purchases/downloads are subject to existing corporate licensing agreements.

Topics: Cloud, Apps, Enterprise Software, Enterprise 2.0, BYOD and the Consumerization of IT, Cloud: How to Do SaaS Right

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  • Compliance and Stocking for the Enterprise App Store

    It’s not surprising to see Gartner’s prediction that a quarter of all enterprises will house their own ‘app store’ by 2017, but the prediction should raise red flags for IT professionals and executives about the preparedness of their enterprise for an in-house app store. Enterprise app stores deliver a number of advantages, but when you open up the floodgates it can be incredibly difficult to manage software licensing, control entitlement and track actual usage. App stores, like the iTunes App Store, have a consumer-like feel to them, but enterprise app stores need to be smarter than iTunes. If users are downloading at will – to simply play or try an app – that has an impact on enterprises licensing compliance. We’re walking a tightrope of enhanced user experience vs. licensing accountability, which is why it will be critical for enterprises to integrate some form of software licensing optimization – to approve, track, manage and optimize usage of applications available on their app store. The consequences of an unexpected, multi-million dollar true-up can have a lasting impact – and a little planning ahead can go a long way. Moreover, tying your app store into your Application Readiness process (which includes app assessment, packaging, format conversion, editing, etc.) helps keep store shelves stocked with apps that are ready for immediate delivery to the user’s device of choice. Tying the app store to these back-end processes is essential to deliver on consumerization of IT while minimizing cost and risk to the organization. -- Steve Schmidt, VP of Corporate Development, Flexera Software
    stevewschmidt