With BYOD (bring your own device) becoming more and more prevalent in the business world, a new set of issues and opportunities are disrupting tradition IT departments. Business teams want choice in the tools they use to do their jobs and the devices they use them on. IT departments are concerned with security, consistency and manageability of business services. So how best to bridge the gap between these seemingly conflicting requirements?
There was a day when business use of pcs & devices was simpler. IT choose and purchased necessary equipment, provided staff with the devices with preconfigured information, managed installation and updates of any software, and when the employee left the company took them back and wiped them clean, recycling back into the workforce.
There is now a shift to employees bringing in their own devices brings and the prolifieration of different types of devices (tablets & smartphones) and diverse operating systems (iOS, Android, MS8, Blackberry). For IT this requires a shift in focus, from managing the specific devices to managing the software on them. Managing the Apps. This way the apps used for business can sit on the device alongside the employee’s personal apps and data. If the employee leaves, then the apps can be revoked. Otherwise leaving the employee’s personal device untouched.
Enterprise App stores are solutions that allow companies to provide, manage and control applications. Companies can create their own apps, or distribute a range of recommended applications. Access can also be extended to customers and business partners outside the organization.
Not only can this be used by large companies, but an App store by a cloud services provider, can offer business apps to small-medium businesses. The App store idea is already being used by Apple, Salesforce.com, and GoogleApps.</>
In my research on this topic this week, I came across two companies that provide solutions in this space.
AppDirect http://www.appdirect.com is a company that providing a platform for cloud based marketplaces and app stores . One notable reference that is close to home is the Bell Business Services App Cloud https://businessapps.bell.ca Another interesting example is Staples App store. https://appcenter.staples.com
AppCentral http://www.appcentral.com/ focuses on enterprise solutions, and provides information on their website for both the Business Owners and IT departments. I downloaded an informative report from survey they conducted last year. I recommend giving it a read for further insights into BYOD and app store implementation in enterprises.
So the world is changing, and all indications are that BYOD is here to stay and growing. Enterprises need to focus on ways to capitalize on the benefits this brings to increasingly mobile business teams, while maintaining the security and manageability concerns of IT.