Could an Enterprise App Store Save Struggling IT Departments?

Loraine Lawson
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Connectivity barriers to data, documents, apps and other business resources often keep remote and traveling employees from their work, according to a recent survey.

Cloud networking company Pertino surveyed 990 U.S. professionals and found that many are dissatisfied with the support they receive from IT, reports Baseline Magazine writer Dennis McCafferty.

“Too often, professionals find themselves stranded in a remote location with no way to access the information they need to do their work, the survey reveals,” McCafferty states. “Even worse, a surprising percentage of workers say their organizations refuse to authorize any kind of remote access, with security and associated expenses cited as the primary reasons.”

In fact, the survey found 30 percent of those surveyed don’t have remote access at all. Seventy-seven percent were not completely satisfied with their remote access capabilities. Yet nine out of 10 said they need access to both business files and apps from their computer or mobile devices.

That’s right: It’s 2014 and some companies still are prohibiting remote access, even with a VPN.

That may be why a recent survey from the Hackett Group found many IT leaders have adopted “reinvention” as their 2014 theme. You can download the full report for free (registration required), but the basics are this: IT organizations are focused on three strategy areas for 2014:

  1. Redefining IT’s value proposition by cultivating business relationships that support innovation and adopting metrics that better measure IT’s contribution.
  2. Developing the company’s enterprise information architecture and analytics capabilities.
  3. Talent re-alignment.

Unfortunately, most IT organizations are trying to achieve these goals in the face of more staff cuts and meager budget increases, the Hackett Group adds.

It may seem like an impossible task. How can cash-strapped IT divisions deal with staff cuts while expanding access to key data and applications, plus achieve all three strategic “reinventions?”

Don’t give up just yet, fearless techies, ZDNet’s Joe McKendrick may have the solution: Set up your own corporate services and apps.

Enterprise app stores make it easier to extend applications and data to mobile devices, McKendrick points out, but they are also easier to manage and offer a lower cost. Even more important, by using services and APIs, you can trackback which departments use the apps and data, making it easier for IT to determine the true cost of usage and bill accordingly.

McKendrick identifies 10 reasons to build enterprise app stores, but if you’d like to read more, he drew the list from a lengthier piece by WSO2 VP Enterprise Evangelism and TIBCO Software founder John Mathon.

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