Barclays creates its own App Store for mobile devices. BYOD next?

Barclays have created their own internal app store. Users can download LOB apps for their tablet device. Can you BYOD into your well-managed business or are those doors firmly shut to you?

With the proliferation of different device platforms, companies are having challenges managing 'non-standard' devices.  But with a bit of creativity, running internal corporate apps on your own device could work well in a managed corporate environment.

Large companies often have a list of approved software that you can download onto your work PC from a central location.  The software has been tested across the supported platforms at the company and it will work with all of the company standard devices. This software repository is accessed and managed centrally.

My work, my device

But what if you want to Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) to work with your company software?  You might want to run a line of business (LOB) app on your tablet or mobile device. Would your company let you do this?  Are you empowered to BYOD into a well-managed business or have the doors been firmly shut?

BYOD can cause major challenges for companies who want to carefully manage their software and hardware inventory. Support is limited, application compatibility is untested and variable and security could be impossible to manage.

Mobile phones that use Active Sync technology to connect to the organisation's Exchange Server could have policies pushed down to the device.  These policies can contain settings to ensure that the device is locked automatically after a period of inactivity.  It protects corporate information from being accessed.

This mechanism could be applied across other devices -- whether or not they are managed by the organisation.

But with more and more devices wishing to access Corp data, and use Corp specific apps, software and app management can become a nightmare.

Private app store

Barclays have created their own internal app store.  Just like other LOB software, users can download an app for their tablet device.

As the App store is held centrally and accessed from within the firewall, security is easy to manage.  Tablet devices can be carefully managed, with only verified devices accessing the store.  Register your device with the network, authenticate and access the information you need.

Tracking devices can be managed too. A mobile device management solution from Mobile Iron keeps track of who has downloaded the Barclays apps onto which device to maintain audit trails and security.

It would not make sense to add LOB apps to an external app store such as Google's or Apple's.  Apps can just as easily be served from an internal network or a private cloud.

Extra security can be applied by software apps from external vendors.

Empowered employees

We manage our own apps on our own devices.  If something goes wrong, we can uninstall the app and re-install.  Data is held in the cloud, web services give us the options we need from the app.

Companies could easily follow Barclays lead and deploy their specific, niche LOB and security apps via private cloud or intranet.

BYOD might then not remind us of the similar acronym BSOD -- something to be avoided at all costs.

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