Enterprise App Store Approach to Spread for Mobile Apps, Study Says
July 9, 2013 Alex Woodie
The adoption rate of enterprise app stores by large organizations will grow at more than a 30 percent annual rate, according to a recent study by ABI Research. The growth is being driven by the bring your own device (BYOD) phenomenon, the firm says.
The app store concept was popularized by Apple several years ago as an easier way to browse, download, and install applications on mobile devices, such as its iPhone and iPad. Google followed with Google Play for its Android platform. Even Microsoft has its own store, for Windows 8.
But it’s not just consumer games like Angry Birds being distributed by the app stores. iOS and Android interfaces for enterprise applications, such as ERP, managed file transfer (MFT), high availability replication, content management, business intelligence, and 5250 emulation, are all being distributed over the commercial app stores.
In the IBM i space, vendors that are distributing apps over the app stores include names such as Attachmate, Computer Guidance, Halcyon Software, LANSA, Linoma Software, Maxava, and Real Vision Software, among others.
Senior ABI Research analyst Jason McNicol points to the BYOD movement as powering the mobile application management space. “The problem is finding a scalable solution to deploy enterprise apps without placing additional burdens on IT departments,” McNicol says in a press release. “Enterprise app stores allow enterprises to expand their mobile application portfolio, yet control distribution based on role and mobile policy.”
The control points will evolve as mobile devices and application proliferate in the enterprise, leading to a growth in bring your own applications (BYOA), McNicol says. “Widespread adoption of BYOD has led to an influx of third party apps being used to support business functions [e-mail, calendar, Office docs, document storage etc.],” he says. “Instead of blacklisting these apps, enterprises are embracing, securing, and deploying third-party apps through the enterprise app store. As such, the enterprise app store is a means to support BYOA.”
IBM expects the enterprise app store to be used not just for mobile apps, but for full-on, runs-the-business, server-based enterprise applications, such as ERP or payroll or warehouse management. In 2012 the company rolled out the PureSystems Centre, a Web-based catalog of enterprise applications that is intended to evolve to allow one-click checkout and upload of applications onto IBM systems. The jury is still out on whether that model will take off.