eBook: 10 Steps for Building a Successful Enterprise App Store


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This eBook guides enterprises on how to build a successful enterprise app store for customers or employees.

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eBook: 10 Steps for Building a Successful Enterprise App Store

  1. 1. 10 Steps for Building a Successful Enterprise App Store
  2. 2. Chapter 1: Setting the Stage 2 www.saasmarkets.com
  3. 3. Enterprises have spent the last few years learning that the consumerization of IT is a powerful market force that has left employees bringing their favorite mobile devices and apps to the office, regardless of corporate policies. Rather than wage a futile battle against the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) and bring-your-own- app (BYOA) movements, tech-savvy companies are accommodating their employees’ embrace of the cloud and allowing them to use their preferred devices. At the same time, these same companies have now realized that deploying a branded, business app store can also serve the cloud computing needs of their external business customers. Internally, many enterprises have established approved lists of mobile devices and apps for their employees. Others are implementing network access policies that allow their employees to use their chosen devices at work, while clamping down on related IT security risks. 3 www.saasmarkets.com Enterprises have spent the last few years learning that the consumerization of IT is a powerful market force that has left employees bringing their favorite mobile devices and apps to the office…
  4. 4. The most progressive enterprises have even built app stores that allow employees to shop for company-approved apps, while concurrently deploying external-facing stores to deliver business apps to their customers, who want to obtain their cloud computing resources from a trusted advisor. In this environment, specialized app store providers have experienced a strong uptick in the amount of inquiries related to the enterprise app stores that they build. Leading financial institutions, tech companies, retailers, business associations and other global brands are increasingly looking outside of their walls to the experts to create highly-engaging, branded app stores for their internal employee populations or external business audiences (or both). Analysts and enterprises continuously approach specialized app store builders with the question: “How do you build an engaging enterprise app store?” 4 www.saasmarkets.com
  5. 5. Before we address this question, let’s take a step back and recognize that the growing number of enterprise app stores should come as no surprise. After all, a recent Gartner report found that one in four (or 25% of) enterprises will create their own app stores by 2017. Forrester echoed this forecast, noting that they envision enterprise app stores moving beyond just the distribution of corporate-approved apps to providing content sharing, analytics reporting and monitoring services. By 2017, 25% of enterprises will have their own app store. - Gartner It’s unquestionable that the recent surge in enterprise app stores is inextricably linked to the increased adoption of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and the use of mobile devices. As company BYOD policies gain traction, employees are increasingly able to access business software through public app stores, such as Apple’s App Store and Google Play, creating potential challenges for IT personnel. In order to manage the security risks related to this scenario, IT leaders are calling upon senior management to give them more control over the apps that employees use. 5 www.saasmarkets.com
  6. 6. Having a branded, internal enterprise app store not only offers companies greater IT control, in terms of peace of mind over the apps that employees bring in from the outside, but there are also significant cost benefits. Enterprises that build an internal app store can negotiate a better price for a bundle of software licenses (a benefit that only increases with the size of a company). Similarly, when an enterprise deploys an external-facing app store to serve the cloud computing needs of its external business customers, it becomes their audience’s go-to resource for all of the business apps that the cloud has to offer. This puts an enterprise in the enviable position of being able to increase customer engagement, reduce churn, win new customers, and gain greater customer insights. 6 www.saasmarkets.com
  7. 7. Chapter 2: The Evolution of the Modern Enterprise App Store 7 www.saasmarkets.com
  8. 8. Today, most enterprises have already moved beyond the traditional realm of mobile device management (MDM). They’ve realized that device management efforts alone do not produce the core benefit of the consumerization of IT—making users more productive than ever. Instead, leaders at these enterprises have recognized that both their colleagues and customers want to access their business software in the same way they access their personal software and social accounts—anytime, anywhere, and from any internet-enabled device. Their realization comes at a pivotal time during the evolution of the enterprise app store, as senior executives further recognize that an app store can be deployed for both internal employee populations and external business customers. Several years ago, an enterprise app store was only thought of as a tool to serve the internal computing needs of the enterprise— greater IT security and control, reduced software costs and the empowerment of its mobile workforce. An app store can be deployed for: 1. internal employee populations 2. external business customers, or both. - UBM Tech 8 www.saasmarkets.com
  9. 9. Today, enterprises recognize that branded app stores can not only strengthen internal IT security, but when deployed externally, they offer an array of potential benefits to their external business customers: Externally-Deployed Enterprise App Store Benefits:  win new customers  increase engagement and reduce churn  gain new customer insights / analytics  become a trusted cloud computing advisor Internally-Deployed Enterprise App Store Benefits:  strengthen IT security and control  reduce overall business software costs  increase employee productivity  empower the mobile workforce 9 www.saasmarkets.com
  10. 10. For example, consider a global bank, such as Bank of America or Barclays, which may be planning to deploy an enterprise app store. The bank may decide to build an app store just for its internal employee population, chock-full of both its proprietary apps and publicly-used applications. However, the same bank could also deploy an outward, client-facing app store to serve the business software needs of its small to medium-sized (SMB) retail banking audience. By deploying an enterprise app store for its SMB customers, the bank has positioned itself as a trusted, tech-savvy leader that is able to aggregate and deliver the business software that its customers need. The app store will differentiate the bank from the competition, while serving as a beacon to guide SMBs to the cloud- based tools they need to succeed. "This App Store … help(s) customers improve and streamline operations, more easily manage finances, and ultimately boost top and bottom- line results." - Chris Davies Managing Director Global Payments UK 10 www.saasmarkets.com
  11. 11. Chapter 3: 10 Steps for Building a Successful Enterprise App Store 11 www.saasmarkets.com
  12. 12. Step 1: Know Your Audience Before you start building an app store, make sure that you listen to the needs of your audience(s)—both your internal employee population and your external business customers (that may also use your app store). When deploying an internal-facing app store, research firm Forrester has advised chief information officers at enterprises to “build a very deep marketing understanding of who your employees are and what they use technology for” before prioritizing their device and application investments. Key stakeholders in the construction of your store will likely have different priorities. Whereas, a member of the executive management team may be focused on reducing overall software costs, IT leaders at your company will be primarily concerned with maintaining control over the apps that employees use and related network security threats. “ . . . build a very deep marketing understanding of who your employees are and what they use technology for . . .” - Forrester 12 www.saasmarkets.com
  13. 13. “Apps downloaded from public app stores for mobile devices disrupt IT security, application and procurement strategies,” noted Ian Finley, research vice president at Gartner. “Bring-your-own-application (BYOA) has become as important as bring- your-own-device (BYOD) in the development of a comprehensive mobile strategy, and the trend toward BYOA has begun to affect desktop and web applications as well.” Similarly, if building an app store to serve external business customers, the audience segments of the app store must be clearly defined prior to development, together with their anticipated cloud computing needs and store use workflows. - Ian Finley, Gartner 13 www.saasmarkets.com
  14. 14. For external, customer-facing app stores, the same holds true—enterprises should have a firm understanding of their customers’ business challenges and what apps will help them overcome these challenges; particularly, enterprises that serve small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs). Cloud-based apps have fundamentally reshaped how many SMBs run their businesses and the results they are able to achieve. Spawned by an increased demand by emerging businesses for flexibility, predictable costs and outsourced solutions for their computing needs, SMBs have been one of the largest segments to adopt SaaS technology, and enterprises are now in a unique position to become their go-to source for the cloud-based apps they need. 14 www.saasmarkets.com
  15. 15. Step 2: Build a Store That Serves the Full Spectrum of Computing Devices Your app store should feature platform-agnostic apps that can be accessed anytime, anywhere and via a user’s device-of-choice. Unlike some app stores where the application is installed on a device and restricted to that device, your store, and the apps found therein, should be accessible via any internet-enabled device. If your end users prefer to use apps on an iPad or tablet, versus their office desktop, then you need to ensure that they’ll be able to use your store’s suite of applications in an easy to consume format, regardless of their device preference. Why? With the BYOD movement, not only is the user bringing his or her device to the office, they also bring a level of expectation from their consumer app store experiences. It is therefore imperative in executing your enterprise app store strategy that your “private” app store delivers an ease-of-use experience that is as appealing as its consumer counterpart. 15 www.saasmarkets.com
  16. 16. Step 3: Create a Compelling Application Catalog in Your Store One of the most challenging and strategic steps in building a store is selecting the applications to feature. Ultimately, the success of your store will depend on the quality of the applications that you select and the store’s endorsement that these apps are appropriate for the end users. If there is not a large enough choice of first-class applications in your store, this will be an inhibitor to your app store’s success and employee users may revert back to public app stores for certain software. This could compromise the presumed security benefits of an enterprise app store. “The implementation of an enterprise app store should be seen as a component of an organization’s application strategy, rather than infrastructure strategy,” noted Brian Prentice, research vice president at Gartner. “The primary determinant of success is app supply.” “The primary determinant of success is app supply.” - Gartner 16 www.saasmarkets.com
  17. 17. Step 4: Determine Who Can Access Your Store and How Subscription Management Will Work Determining who can access your store is important because it defines control and access to the applications and data found in your store. A strong access management service should automate the provisioning and de-provisioning of users and their associated roles, as a natural extension of your company’s existing process. Users should be able to invite their colleagues to use an application with just the click of a button. The leaders at the app store’s helm should be able to segment users’ roles and restrict access to applications by role or by group, as necessary. For example, in an enterprise app store designed to serve an employee population, the store may have different permission settings for the following employee groups:  Senior executives  Sales and marketing professionals  Finance and accounting professionals  Field engineers and remote workers 17 www.saasmarkets.com
  18. 18. Of course, each enterprise will have to discern how best to segment user roles, permission settings, and the apps available to each group of users. Sound subscription management is just as important as access management. Subscription management refers to the potentially complex relationships between users, service levels, free trial periods, pricing structures and much more. Managing subscriptions involves a lot of behind-the-scenes logistics, such as provisioning the applications that a user group is allowed to use. Your system must further feed data to the access management and billing systems to ensure that users have access to the appropriate apps. In public app store settings, users have come to expect full visibility of their app subscriptions and the opportunity to manage and upgrade their subscriptions through a self-service portal. They will expect the same ease-of-use experience in your private app store. Subscription management is just as important as access management. 18 www.saasmarkets.com
  19. 19. Step 5: Single Sign-On (SSO) Users of multiple applications will benefit from Single Sign-On (SSO) because it reduces the time they spend re-entering passwords for the same identity and it helps enterprises because it reduces phishing success and password fatigue from different user name and password combinations. Not having to remember multiple login-IDs or passwords adds tremendous value to end-user experiences. By providing SSO through a platform, enterprises can enhance IT security by keeping users in a secure computing environment when they access their apps. SaaS app providers, such as PingOne, Okta and OneLogin, each offer their own SSO platform. An SSO approach not only yields more IT security and control, but it offers a forum to market other apps and add-on services; thus, ensuring that your audience relies on you more for value added services, rather than searching for such services outside of your store. 19 www.saasmarkets.com
  20. 20. Step 6: Remember that Content is Still King Just as engaging content catapulted the adoption of public app stores, sticky content will once again reign supreme in private app stores, as it fosters the adoption of more cloud-based tools. The very best enterprise app stores not only offer best-in-class business applications, but they also offer industry-tailored tutorial content—in the form of informative videos, white papers, articles, etc.—that help users overcome their business challenges. 20 www.saasmarkets.com
  21. 21. Step 7: Deliver an Impactful User Experience Now that you’ve screened, selected, and qualified the apps that you’ll feature in your store, you also have to assemble all of the different aspects of your marketplace into a seamless user experience. This includes recognizing the usage patterns of users and being able to recommend groupings or bundles of apps that are appropriate for certain verticals and audience segments. If users experience hardship or bugs in your store, the store must be able to be updated quickly and appropriate operational support channels should be established in advance to ensure that store corrections are made with deliberate speed. Just because your store features great business applications does not mean that users won’t abandon the store if the delivery of apps is cumbersome and they have poor user experiences. Assemble all of the different aspects of your marketplace into a seamless user experience. 21 www.saasmarkets.com
  22. 22. Step 8: Make Your App Store Secure Yes, it’s true—there are still some people that hesitate to use cloud-based apps and one of their primary concerns focuses on data security. In particular, some SMBs remain nervous about downloading applications from “the cloud.” Since data that is stored in the cloud can be sensitive, your app store should tackle this issue head on to ensure that data in your store is not hacked or compromised. 22 www.saasmarkets.com Addressing the security issue yourself can prove to be a very taxing technical endeavor. Historically, user names and passwords have been stored within the app store, which makes them a target for phishing attacks and security breaches. Your store should be able to control access to specific apps through an intuitive interface, without storing application-level passwords.
  23. 23. In the event that data is lost or compromised, you should have already determined who absorbs the liability. Often, app providers will want to absolve themselves from any liability, even if the data intrusion occurred on their end. Your store should stipulate the conditions under which an app provider may be found liable; particularly when dealing with sensitive medical records or payment transaction scenarios. 23 www.saasmarkets.com
  24. 24. Step 9: Putting the ‘Service’ Back in SaaS All too often enterprises, app store builders, and app providers alike forget about the “service” element in the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) equation. Naturally, it’s easy to get caught up in the software side of things; however, an enterprise app store will never be very successful if it’s not founded on a commitment to providing first-class user support. 24 www.saasmarkets.com
  25. 25. Providing support for an app store is not something that most enterprises will know how to do. It can also be a distraction from their core business operations. A solid app store provider will not only support you, but your audience as well. The app store creator needs to facilitate quick responses to user inquiries, security concerns, and other issues. The way in which a company provides “service” will become a key factor in the success of their store. FAQ guides and tutorial videos can be helpful, but nothing is more important to end users than knowing how to master their favorite apps in the context of their regular use. App stores that provide helpful and transparent support will be successful, as exceptional user support keeps people coming back for more. The way in which a company provides “service” will become a key factor in the success of their store. 25 www.saasmarkets.com
  26. 26. Step 10: Marketing Your Store and Post-Deployment Engagement Remember, even if you stock your app store full of best-in-class business software, you must still evangelize the store’s benefits and how it will make users’ lives easier. Do not hesitate to tout the ease of configuration, integration of apps that are offered, and the breadth of applications available in your store. Post-deployment, your store should not only introduce new apps that become available, but it should also regularly introduce fresh, industry-tailored content to help users overcome their business challenges. The very best enterprise app stores offer mentoring tools for application best practices and informative resources to help users leverage all of the opportunities that await them in the cloud. Your team should develop a process to continually update the store with impactful collateral, new app announcements, videos, thought leadership articles and more. The continuous introduction of fresh, impactful content will become a recipe for enduring app store engagement. 26 www.saasmarkets.com
  27. 27. Chapter 4: Putting it All Together 27 www.saasmarkets.com
  28. 28. The Rise of Marketplace-as-a-Service (MaaS) Companies Thankfully, Marketplace-as-a-Service (MaaS) companies, such as SaaS Markets, have evolved over the past few years to build, brand and launch enterprise app stores. Large companies, in particular, are increasingly looking outside of their walls to build app stores, as they realize that specialized MaaS companies are best suited to deploy stores. 28 www.saasmarkets.com By leveraging an app marketplace, the employees and/or customers of an enterprise can now find a single, trusted source for all of their business software, while the store becomes a beacon to guide them to the cloud-based tools they need. The very best of these app stores will lend clarity, guidance, and structure to what sometimes can be described as a confusing cloud computing world.
  29. 29. Summary Gartner’s conclusion that the number of enterprise app stores will dramatically increase in the coming years is anything but a surprise. Ideas that make good business sense tend to do well. The surge in the construction of enterprise app stores seems so natural because their efficacy is unquestionable. They give enterprises control over the applications that their employees use, while more fully enfranchising their computing needs and desires—ultimately, they deliver the cloud-based tools that employees and customers need to be successful in their roles. The pressure points in building an enterprise app store include the wide variety of devices and operating systems in the cloud ecosystem, and the need for best-in-class apps to be both effective and compliant when used. Enterprises should think about application use management as an overall strategy to maximize the value of their software assets across the full spectrum of their business. Executives and IT departments alike have been forced to confront this issue, and they’re quickly discovering the virtues of creating private app stores for their companies. 29 www.saasmarkets.com
  30. 30. Chapter 5: The SaaS Markets Approach 30 www.saasmarkets.com
  31. 31. The SaaS Markets Approach SaaS Markets—the enterprise app store company—provides the industry’s most advanced Marketplace-as-a-Service (MaaS) enterprise solutions. Today, enterprises are mindful of the increasing role that private app stores will play in computing, and these larger companies are calling upon SaaS Markets to build their fully-branded stores. SaaS Markets’ enterprise solutions allow companies to deploy their app stores quickly, while avoiding the cost of additional IT personnel and the large, up-front investment risk that such an internal endeavor would entail. Drawing on their deep knowledge of SaaS and their extensive relationships with app providers, SaaS Markets’ team deploys app stores in a matter of weeks, not months. Through SaaS Markets’ MarketMaker platform, businesses and associations can take advantage of the state-of-the-art functionality that an enterprise app store needs to be successful. These features are complemented by a stringent, four-step screening process that ensures that all of the apps featured in a store have undergone back- end testing to accommodate complex usage scenarios. 31 www.saasmarkets.com
  32. 32. In addition, the MarketMaker platform offers flexible deployment options that are ideal for companies of any size, and all SaaS Markets-powered stores are customized to extend the look-and-feel of a client’s brand. Before an enterprise app store is deployed, it can be stocked with a company’s proprietary apps, as well as those apps found in SaaS Markets’ catalog of over 1,500+ pre-qualified apps. This gives companies an opportunity to build their app stores quickly and cost-effectively, while concurrently giving app providers an opportunity to reach thousands of people with their apps. 32 www.saasmarkets.com
  33. 33. About SaaS Markets SaaS Markets (based in San Mateo, CA) is THE enterprise app store company, powering the largest global network of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) business app stores. Through relationships with major financial institutions, technology companies, small business associations, and leading brands, SaaS Markets is bringing SaaS applications to millions of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) around the world. SaaS Markets offers companies a user-friendly portal that makes it easy to choose the cloud-based tool that is right for their business needs. Follow us on Twitter: @saasmarkets Learn more at: www.SaaSMarkets.com, or call 650.458.0748. 33 www.saasmarkets.com Jay Manciocchi, JD is the Director of Content at SaaS Markets, and a contributor for CBS Corp.’s ZDNet and UBM Tech’s SaaS in the Enterprise. Prior to SaaS Markets, Jay worked in a leadership role at the nation's largest content marketing agency. Follow him on Twitter: @JayManSanFran About the Author: Jay Manciocchi
  34. 34. 34 www.saasmarkets.com