By: Thomas McCandless
I've worked with customers who have said that more than 30% of their help-desk calls are requests for applications. I had one customer tell me that they had over 16,000 requests for application installs. I also have customers who have drastically reduced the number of application related help-desk calls. How? With an application store where users can deploy their own applications without calling the help desk. Implementing an enterprise application store can consumerize business application requests and deployment.
The consumerization of IT continues to impact the enterprise. It started with employees bringing a plethora of devices into the organization. The use of such devices has introduced different approaches for acquiring applications. End users are now accustomed to using application stores to get applications on their tablets, iPads and phones. In fact, Microsoft has just introduced an application store for Windows 8 modern applications. This means that end users are getting used to using an application store at work.
An enterprise application store provides a self-service website for requesting and deploying applications. End users are familiar with ordering applications from stores like iTunes, but now it will be for their enterprise and line of business applications. To help with adoption, it is important to implement commonly-used features such as keyword searches, reviews, and cost. The end user requests will trigger an automated approval process with a dynamic workflow that should include all players in the application request process (manager, purchasing, deployment, etc.). Once approved, the solution will automate the deployment of the application using Microsoft SCCM or other deployment tools.
In summary, I would encourage enterprises to consider providing an enterprise application store, but to ensure rapid adoption, create an easy-to-use interface so users can find what they need quickly and ensure that feedback can be gathered easily. This will make for a very happy end-user community and drive down application request calls to the help desk.
What are your thoughts on enterprise app stores?