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My Employees Want an Enterprise AppStore

on January 25, 2011

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IT Gets User Friendly

As the consumerization of IT continues to change the landscape of enterprise technology and the coinciding trend of mobile applications surges, will employees begin to expect a series of easily accessible applications customized to their enterprise? An interesting post from CIO’s Shane O’Neil brings light upon the emerging demand for a custom enterprise app store.

Depending on the current IT environment, this dream may be difficult to execute, but large organizations can better manage the way employees use their technology if they offer a convenient way of attaining, managing and updating it. Specifically, when it comes to mobile applications, where numerous options from Apple, Android, and Blackberry are used in conjunction with enterprise applications, does an enterprise AppStore make the most sense.

A Common User Experience

Enterprise IT systems are moving towards a common user interface customized to their brand aesthetic. In other words, every system a company uses will look, feel, and work in a similar fashion (at least on the top interface level). If this is the case, an enterprise AppStore full of apps and add-ons would be a logical method of distributing and managing applications and components of applications.

In my last post about the consumerization of IT, I mentioned the changing expectations employees have of their information technology. These employees are expecting their business applications to work like their personal applications. A custom enterprise AppStore fulfills this need, and may deter some of that IT irritation we’ve all come to experience.

Business-IT Alignment

The underlying theme of this post is the importance of user interaction with enterprise systems. How can companies make using their custom internal software easier? How can the adoption and maintenance of these applications take a note from consumer driven technology, but preserve its utility as a corporate asset?

These questions will be answered within the coming years, as enterprises offer an AppStore-like approach to technology management. Many organizations experience a sizeable gap between business and IT, and this may be one way to close it.

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