Half the battle when it comes to first building and then maintaining a platform is making sure there is enough software available to run on it. Case in point is Wacom, a provider of digital pen tablets and displays that are used in everything from fashion design to CAD/CAM applications. As part of an effort to broaden that market, Wacom at the 2016 CES event today announced that it is creating an online market for applications that run on its platform.
Wacom is understandably trying to attract more developers to its mobile computing platform by making it simpler for end users to discover and then download those applications. Rather than build an online app store from the ground up, Wacom chose to build on top of application store technology from AppDirect. It’s a lot simpler for vendors such as Wacom, says AppDirect co-CEO Daniel Saks, to leverage existing application store platforms to help customers get more value out of the platform.
Building an app store is clearly a positive for Wacom. Of course, the challenge many IT organizations now face is how to navigate their way through all the different online app stores that exist. Just about every hardware and software vendor in the world has its own app store.
In addition, third parties such as Amazon are trying to aggregate all those application stores into something that resembles an application mall. On top of that, many internal IT organizations have created their own app stores through which employees can download officially sanctioned applications. But having an official corporate app store doesn’t necessarily prevent end users from downloading other applications as well.
Put it all together and it’s clear that there have never been more ways to distribute and consume software, which naturally helped fuel the whole bring your own application (BYOA) phenomenon in the first place. One of the major challenges that IT organizations will face in 2016 is figuring out how to bring some level of governance to an application acquisition process that more than likely has already spun out of their control.