Enterprise app stores have become popular, employee-friendly ways to encourage employee self-service – allowing users to get the apps they need, when they need them. But many organisations don’t fully utilise their app stores across all application types – such as for provisioning cloud-based apps like salesforce.com or Office 365. By failing to provide a truly universal enterprise app store, companies are sabotaging their own efforts.

[easy-tweet tweet=”Many organisations don’t fully utilise their #app stores across all application types” user=”comparethecloud”]

The enterprise app store must provision all apps employees are authorised and likely to use – regardless of the type of app or platform it will be run on. This includes SaaS apps that are hosted in external cloud environments. To the user, accessing enterprise app store apps should be a one-stop-shop, otherwise it will just represent another system that doesn’t really deliver what the user wants and it will be circumvented.

Such a universal enterprise app store must provide access to authorised enterprise applications that are suitable for the device and operating system. In addition to providing a selection of apps for different devices, an enterprise app store should also enable the installation of applications from an assortment of locations from a local application library, as well as applications that run in the public cloud. These cloud apps are most often Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications such as Office 365, Box, and salesforce.com, and are gaining more and more subscribers in the enterprise space. 

A universal app store approach gives employees a consistent experience across all of their devices

A universal app store approach gives employees a consistent experience across all of their devices from desktops and laptops to tablets and smartphones. Moreover, the experience will most likely be familiar to the employees since most users already know how to access public app stores and download apps.

A universal app store delivers this experience by presenting a “single pane of glass” for Windows, mobile, and Apple users for physical, virtual, mobile, and cloud applications. This eliminates the need for multiple “portal” solutions.

Many enterprise app store products do not connect to a diverse set of deployment systems, and do not have the out-of-the-box capability to provision cloud applications. So enterprises should be careful when selecting enterprise app stores – because many products and custom solutions still rely on heavy customisation that is costly to develop and difficult to maintain.

[easy-tweet tweet=”Governance is a less understood aspect of an effective enterprise #app store” user=”comparethecloud”]

Governance is a less understood aspect of an effective enterprise app store. Any solution chosen must be able to automatically manage apps on devices across multiple management systems, provide governance such as determining license position, license reservation, software harvesting and leasing, and providing extensible options for OS deployment.

Many organisations are struggling to provide the same level of service for cloud apps as they are for other application types. Employees commonly use a different request process for cloud apps or submit a request via a help desk ticket, resulting in a different level of service, often leading to dissatisfaction and shadow IT. Administrators who use an app store capable of simultaneously provisioning cloud applications alongside on premises and mobile apps are able to provide the same business approval processes and questions across all application types. By creating this familiar, transparent interface, employees use the app store for all their needs, including cloud apps. Once the application request is approved and provisioned for the user successfully, they simply receive an email which includes pertinent login details.

With a universal app store in place, employees request apps like Salesforce.com, Microsoft® Office 365, Box, and others from any desktop or mobile device. This simplifies the user experience and automatically provisions cloud accounts, providing the same level of automation and control as desktop and mobile apps.

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