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Enterprise app stores: great idea, lackluster reception

Are IT departments resisting the idea of consumerizing business app access?

ZDNet colleague Dion Hinchcliffe just posted a piece on the lackluster reception seen so far for enterprise app stores. The enterprise app store -- a facility that extends the principles of service orientation and private cloud to a tangible front end for business users -- is now being offered as a capability by some vendors. It takes Apple's runaway best-selling App Store concept and distills it as a highly graphic resources for vetting and approving enterprise services, integrates with or functions as a registry/repository, and makes it simple and easy for business users and developers to locate existing services.

At least, in theory.

Dion posits that at least in larger organizations, IT departments tend to be well entrenched in existing technologies, procedures, and bureaucratic hurdles when it comes to acquiring software, are not enthusiastic about applying the consumer-ish aspects of app stores to their operations. To success, he recommends a combination of data storage transparency, as well as auditing and compliance support. Dion also recommends "policy-based opt-ins and opt-outs," which will keep service acquisition real-time. "Don’t make IT admins have to check each and every app to see if it complies with IT standards," he advises.

As with many things, it takes times for consumerist technologies to make their way into the formal corporate organization. Often, it simply becomes an unstoppable force. There are now likely too many end-users to count who are now freely using consumer app stores to download functionality to their devices. Just as they did with PC applications or Internet e-commerce, they're asking why it isn't just as simple to access corporate apps the same way.