Posted by:Srini Bhopal July 5th, 2012

With the rise of personal mobile devices into the internal spaces of enterprises, it was only a matter of time before enterprise app stores came up. Even though public mobile app stores such as Apple’s App Store and Google Play offer ready-made options for publishing and distributing apps, some enterprises select to go with private stores for greater fine-grained control, proprietary rights, flexibility and security.

According to security vendor Symantec’s 2012 State of Mobility Survey, 71 per cent of organizations surveyed across the globe were considering launching a corporate app store.Gartner states that the corporate app store is one of its Top 10 Strategic Technologies for 2012.

While implementing an enterprise app store, IT heads need to keep a few things in mind. Apart from the technical, security and performance aspect of the app store, it is also important to make it user-friendly for developers and users. Here are some tips:

Multiple platform support

Typically enterprises run an audit to verify the type of mobile devices and platforms being used by employees. Usually, the list goes from Android smartphones and tablets, iPhone, iPad, BlackBerry to Nokia or Sony Ericsson. It’s best to accommodate all platforms on the app store to ensure high adoption of mobile solutions.

Easy download of enterprise apps

Enterprise apps should be easily downloaded from the native mobile browser or through the enterprise app store. However, the connections and users should be authenticated.

App approval policies

CTOs and executives should lay down strict guidelines for the development, design, publishing and withdrawal of apps. This is necessary to assure the quality of enterprise apps as well as to mitigate the chances of malicious code entering the app space.

Easy administration

The administrator should have access to a user-friendly console that allows easy management of users, roles, app approvals, app additions and removals, update notifications, and policy checks.

Push notifications

Users should be notified of new apps that they are authorized to install as well as updates to existing apps. The administrator should be able to send notifications to users or groups.

Over the air (OTA) updates

Maintenance updates and bug fixes should be received by users over the air.

Security

Single Sign-on (SSO) or identity management and integration with Mobile Device Management (MDM) solutions assure security at one level. Internal databases are used to authenticate users or groups, device, and role before approving app access or download. Some enterprises allow devices to be shared by more than one user, in which case access control changes with the login. Records of exiting employees should be removed at once and apps and data removed remotely if the device is personal.

Apart from that, the network should be secured on VPN or SSL for downloads and app access. Regular security checks of the apps themselves are also required to detect malicious code that could be introduced by an employee with a grudge or a hacker.

Big players such as GE, CDW, SAP, and Deloitte have their own internally managed stores. The trend could catch on quickly.

So, eager to learn why your business MUST take notice of Mobility ? Or want to decide which app is a right fit for your business? Download your choice !

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