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Enterprise App Demands Grow and Shift to In-house: Effects on IT

March 1, 2013 No Comments

It is easy to search through the consumer app stores and find a new tool for any given task.  Whether on your iPhone or Kindle, there is a “store” that makes modern day shopping malls appear low on variety.  Recently, many employees have carried over the desire to have everything at their fingertips into workplace demands.  If an app can track my 26 mile run through a remote desert, then why can’t my company make an app to help me find client reports while away from my desk?  So how is the enterprise responding?  Gartner predicts that “By 2017, 25 percent of enterprises will have an enterprise app store for managing corporate-sanctioned apps on PCs and mobile devices.”

The operating systems issue is taking a backseat to enterprise app demands and many companies are developing in-house app stores, continuing to speed up the pace of enterprise innovation.  However, in-house apps must improve workforce productivity, the software is expected to function across multiple device operating systems and policy must be created to meet licensing, security, and technical capabilities, presenting quite a challenge for IT departments.

Balancing workforce productivity with security and management constraints presents the overarching issue that is found in mobile application management.  Some employees need to get work done whenever it’s due, wherever they are, with whichever endpoint is handy.  Consider when these business apps are downloaded to personal devices; IT can set regulations on what company information is accessible to a personal device by setting up passcodes or network access restrictions.  Companies with high mobile and security needs must consider how strict application restrictions will affect work away from the workplace.

Here are a few constructive ideas to help manage application policy and activities:

- Evaluate the company culture and needs before jumping in to application or app store development.

- Develop mutual understanding and communication between IT, management, and employees.  A healthy dialogue can bring about positive change.

- Provide rationale behind decisions.  Employees can better follow a policy if they know how it benefits their job and company.

- Revisit policies on a regular basis. Is the current approach working for all parties while benefitting the business?

Developing an internal application store may be on the rise, but some smaller and medium sized businesses are far away from such an undertaking.  At the same time, companies of all sizes must monitor their mobile needs.  Mobile device management (MDM) is becoming a business norm and companies would be advantageous to start thinking about it now.  Gartner predicts that about 65 percent of enterprises will adopt an MDM solution over the next five years.

An integrated approach to endpoint management can help achieve workplace and IT harmony.  Meaning, tools will be used in a number of ways, so the technology team can pull in different strategies that work across diverse endpoints.  Whether developing an internal app store or managing file security, there are solutions available.  Finding a way to integrate new developments in application management can be an overwhelming task, but when properly balanced, can lead to a secure and unified mobile policy that improves workforce productivity.

Justin strong Enterprise App Demands Grow and Shift to In house: Effects on IT

Justin Strong, Senior Global Product Marketing Manager, Novell

Justin Strong loves technology and how it constantly changes the world we live in. Over the last 15 years he has spent time designing, marketing and selling both hardware and software ranging from complex proprietary wireless solutions to web-based cloud solutions and more. As Novell’s Senior Global Product Marketing Manager for the ZENworks portfolio of Systems/Endpoint Management product, he is responsible for helping customers get what they need from their technology, including how to manage and secure their device fleets of desktops, laptops smartphones and tablets. He is also the founder of Pixelture, Inc, a software company focused on in-room group collaboration. He holds a BS in Psychology from the University of Utah and and MBA from Brigham Young University.


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