Why and How to Build an Enterprise App Store

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Managing the Enterprise App Store

In most companies, the IT department will handle management of the enterprise app store. But no matter who is in charge, Burley Kawasaki, SVP of platform for mobile app development platform provider Kony, advises companies to make the user interface as simple as possible and to keep the feature scope of the store to a minimum.

"I also recommend ensuring that apps are mandatory for the specific people to which it is targeted, and optional for those that don't need to use them. Many app stores can be configured to download all mandatory apps automatically upon launching, so that users don't need to search for and install them manually," Kawasaki adds.

A growing number of companies are creating their own enterprise app stores. According to Kia Behnia, CEO of PowWow Mobile, enterprise app stores provide a single "shopping experience" for their employees to download business apps and content. Also, they support both a BYOD model and a "self-service" IT model where the employees are presented with a set of business applications and content based on the role of the user. The applications offered are usually a combination of internal and commercial applications, which may be vetted and linked from a public app store. Some companies have dedicated teams to develop, organize and manage the stores, while others leave it to the IT department.

Behnia believes there are two major steps in the app-store development process: The first is to create a list of applications that are appropriate for the store, establish entitlement and licensing, and categorize the apps and descriptions. The second is to establish the front-end catalog of items and a list of who has access to it. Here are some tips on how to get your enterprise app store up and running and the benefits of having one.

Sue Marquette Poremba has been writing about network security since 2008. In addition to her coverage of security issues for IT Business Edge, her security articles have been published at various sites such as Forbes, Midsize Insider and Tom's Guide. You can reach Sue via Twitter: @sueporemba

 

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