Are Enterprise App Stores a Good Idea?

Should employees be able to download enterprise applications just like smartphone users download consumer software from online app stores?

That's a question some IT shops and software vendors are pondering, according to a Jan. 10 blog post by Gartner Inc. analyst Dennis Gaughan .

He said that an enterprise app store could help IT deploy and maintain corporate apps more easily while tracking downloads and usage trends. "It's a very compelling idea, one that software vendors and service providers are thinking about to help sell more software and/or services," he added.

"The idea has legs," Gaughan concluded, but he cautioned that there are big hurdles to overcome because of the differences between heavy-duty enterprise apps and inexpensive smartphone apps:

  • Unlike Apple Inc.'s popular App Store, where one company controls everything except code development, an enterprise app store would have to deal with a wide variety of technologies and vendors. "It would also require a level of cooperation between vendors that, to say the least, has been difficult to achieve," Gaughan said.
  • Smartphone apps work independently, whereas enterprise apps (like order management and logistics) need to work together and share data.
  • An enterprise app store would need a standardized approach to provisioning, billing and maintenance for all of the store's software, while IT would have to ensure compliance with licensing terms.
  • Read more about applications in Computerworld's Applications Topic Center.

    This story, "Are Enterprise App Stores a Good Idea?" was originally published by Computerworld.

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