According to a forecast by Gartner from last year—one that we already addressed right here on our blog—about one-fourth of all enterprises will have their own app store by 2017. Not exactly the boldest prediction we’ve ever heard, but hey, it’s something.
And while we discussed that report last summer, we came across another blog post about the report from Kinvey, a platform for mobile, tablet, and web apps, and thought it might be worth chiming in again.
To keep the discussion going, we though we’d address a few of Kelly Rice’s assertions in her post about whether or not an enterprise app store is a good idea:
Building an enterprise app store can be costly.
Building an enterprise app store can be costly—if it’s tied to MDM. But if you focus on an MAM vendor that already has its own enterprise app store, the cost is lower, and the reach is far greater. Doing the latter allows you to do the following, all in one platform:
- Deploy apps internally to testers
- Deploy apps internally to all employees
- Deploy apps on all platforms—HTML5, iOS, Android, Windows, et al.
- Deploy B2B apps to your employees
- Deploy apps to business partners
- Provide a curated app store to your customers—a great marketing tool to let your customers know how best to get value from your mobile platform
Don’t let cost scare you off from having your own enterprise app store. Instead, focus on a vendor that can give you the functionality you need without building things from the ground up.
User-friendliness is a key challenge.
We definitely agree that making your app store “as user-friendly as the public stores employees are used to” is essential. However, Rice misses out on something else that’s just as important: the app store onboarding process.
If getting users’ information and onboarding them with the chosen solution isn’t extremely easy, you’ll create more support calls into your IT department than you will see value from your app deployment. It doesn’t matter how much your app store mimics public app stores if it isn’t easy to get your employees on board, so don’t leave onboarding out of the mix when setting out to build or adapt your own enterprise app store.
More feedback means more effective apps.
Although she mentions it in a different context—prompting competition amongst development teams to deliver the best apps—Rice’s note about feedback being a powerful tool in the EMM world is spot-on.
User feedback in your enterprise app store is key. Including everything from which apps are being downloaded, to which apps are being used, to which apps are your employees’ favorites and more, there’s really no limit to what you can do with your feedback. It’s extremely useful for building better apps, and aside from actual analytics about your apps, user feedback is the best way to tell whether or not your apps are effective.
Okay, so we may have been a little too ambitious in looking at these comments as ways to build a ‘perfect’ app store. However, it’s a lot easier to get close to a perfect enterprise app store than you might think—provided that you’re asking the right questions and focusing on the right things.
Rice’s look at whether or not you should have an enterprise app store is generally pretty good, but we couldn’t help but add in a few comments of our own. Will this get you a perfect app store? Maybe not. But it’ll at least get you involved instead of sitting back on the sidelines and wondering when it’s time to join the many businesses with their own app stores.
Interested in learning more about how App47 can help you build a better app store for your business? Reach out to us in the comments or via the contact page of our site. We’d be happy to answer any questions you may have.