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Back in January of this year, I suggested in this space that IT managers and their corporate counterparts should consider building internal appstores to counteract the challenges of the ‘Bring Your Own Device’ (BYOD) phenomenon.
Since that time, a growing array of Cloud-based marketplace platforms have emerged that can make it even easier to pursue this idea and regain control over renegade end-user app purchases. The tremendous success of the Apple, Google and Amazon appstores among consumers has encouraged their business alter egos, the prosumers, to seek new business applications from the same sources, causing a “Bring Your Own App’ (BYOA) trend to emerge.
While many CIOs are still trying to keep pace with the overwhelming pressures of accommodating today’s BYOD trend, they are discovering that once an end-user gets their hands on a smartphone they immediately start searching for easy-to-use business applications to address their day-to-day job responsibilities.
Over a year ago, Gartner predicted that the number of paid application downloads acquired via a paid commercial appstore would jump from 2.8 billion in 2011 to 21.6 billion in 2016. Another 287.9 billion free downloads are also expected in 2016.
The only hope CIOs and other corporate executives have of corralling this mushrooming app frenzy is by implementing their own inhouse appstores.
Not only is this a good defensive move to regain control over today’s increasing ad hoc application acquisition process, but it also can produce a number of positive results for CIOs.
First, it permits them to ensure greater purchase power by aggregating the acquisition process to obtain bulk discounts. This can mean significant cost-savings.
Second, it allows them to reduce the risk of inappropriate application acquisition that can create compliance and security issues.
Third, it enables them to better track application utilization patterns so they can determine which applications are providing the best return-on-investment (ROI) and better plan for future needs.
Gartner recognizes the benefits of moving in this direction and predicts 25 percent of enterprises will have in-house appstores by 2017.
Various vendors are recognizing the enterprise appstore opportunity. BMC Software recently acquired Partnerpedia, which offers an enterprise appstore platform. BMC is educating CIOs about the practical advantages of adopting this type of solution to solve their shadow IT issues. BMC is also using the Partnerpedia platform to launch its own online appstore, called AppZone, which it is aligning with its myIT self-service solution.
Enlightened CIOs have an opportunity to regain control over the consumerization of IT, and redefine how IT organizations deliver services to their end-users by implementing internal appstores.
In order to be successful, the internal appstores must offer an assortment of leading Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) solutions that have been certified to fit the enterprise’s business needs and integrate with existing applications and systems. They must do this while complying with its operating requirements, and must also be easy to access and utilize, matching the user-friendly interfaces of the consumer-oriented standard-bearers.
Kaplan is the Managing Director of THINKstrategies (www.thinkstrategies.com), founder of the Cloud Computing Showplace (www.cloudshowplace.com) and host of the Cloud Channel Summit, (www.cloudchannelsummit.com). He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.