Business Drivers for IT Innovation
In cost containment, after an IT organization has done the comparatively easy stuff, the question quickly becomes what to do next.
By now you may have noticed that just about every vendor out there wants you come visit their online application store. But when you start to consider the number of vendors you do business with, suddenly the idea of having to visit all these different online app stores doesn't sound like a whole lot of fun.
And it's not just the vendors that are opening app stores. Just about every IT services firm has decided that they too need to open an online store, which is naturally stocked with software from their favorite vendors.
While app stores for consumers that are fans of a particular device makes a lot of sense, in the context of the enterprise, all these different app stores do more to confuse and frustrate IT folks than they do to facilitate the purchasing process. The question is what to do about it? The idea on an online app store is pretty appealing. But instead of visiting a vendor's online app store, IT organizations should be thinking about opening their own app stores.
That approach would bring all the benefits of online software distribution to the organization without having to sequentially visit a series of online stores. And best of all, the IT organization would have control over what wares were actually stocked in the store.
A number of IT organizations are already moving down this path as part of the move to self-service IT. The challenge is building the framework for managing the transaction environment required to support an app store.
That challenge, however, may actually be resolved by companies that vendors already rely on to build their stores. For example, Partnerpedia, a provider of online e-commerce and community software for vendors, provides the ability to white label its software. So rather than waiting for a vendor to build a store, Sam Liu, vice president of marketing for Partnerpedia, says an IT organization could build their own virtual store and stock it by linking back to any approved software vendor they choose.
We already live in an era where it seems like everybody is trying to take as much control away from the IT department as possible. But at the end of the day, whoever controls the purchase process controls the relationship. So the smartest thing an IT organization can do today is set up its very own online shop today because, after all, when it comes to selling anything, location is still everything.