App Stores -- They're Not Just for Consumers Any More, as More Enterprises Adopt the Model to Support Mobile Applications
App Stores -- Theyre Not Just for Consumers Any More, asMore Enterprises Adopt the Model to Support MobileApplicationsTranscript of a sponsored podcast discussion on the emerging concept of enterprise app storesbased on the current consumer models.Listen to the podcast. Find it on iTunes/iPod. Sponsor: PartnerpediaDana Gardner: Hi. This is Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions, and you’re listening to BrieﬁngsDirect. Today, we present a sponsored podcast discussion on the impact that mobile devices and applications are having on enterprises. Well speciﬁcally examine what steps businesses can take to manage mobile applications and develop their own versions of enterprise app stores. The skyrocketing popularity of mobile devices like smartphones and tablets has, on one hand, energized users, but on the other hand, it has caused IT andbusiness leaders to scramble to support these new clients productively and safely.Well explore here today how enterprise app stores are part of the equation for better mobilemanagement and overall mobility-enabled work success.Well start by examining some of the driving trends around enterprise mobility with a principalanalyst from Forrester Research. Then, well hear from Partnerpedia on how enterprise app storescan be added to the usual mix of IT applications delivery and management strategies.[Disclosure: Partnerpedia is a sponsor of BrieﬁngsDirect podcasts.]Please join me now in welcoming our panel. Were here with John McCarthy, Vice President andPrincipal Analyst at Forrester Research. Welcome, John.John McCarthy: Thanks, Dana. How are you today?Gardner: Im great. We are also here with Sam Liu. Hes the Vice President of Marketing atPartnerpedia. Welcome back, Sam.Sam Liu: Hey, Dana. How are you doing?Gardner: Im doing great. John, let’s start with you. It seems that a day doesn’t go by when wedont see more data pointing to a sea change in how applications, communications, andinformation are being delivered to workers. I think this has a lot to do with the way theseworkers now want to gain access to these assets.
From your perspective, John, how profound is the shift that were in. Is this iterative or are we ina real sea change, a real sort of shift in the landscape, a tectonic plate type of shift?Rare moment in timeMcCarthy: It’s deﬁnitely the latter. Were really at this rare moment in time for the technology sector, whether youre talking about vendors, end-users, or CIOs who are trying to manage all this. It’s not just mobile. It’s not just cloud. Software as a service (SaaS), smart computing, machine to machine, analytics, social, all these things are spinning up together to create an accelerating array of change in the marketplace. Gardner: You mentioned cloud and SaaS. It seems to me that the mobility issue is almost accelerated in a virtuous cycle. That is to say, the more mobility, the more reliance on cloud, the richer and safer it is. The more conﬁdence peoplehave in cloud, the more they can do with their mobility. Is that the case? It’s an adoption vectorof some sort?McCarthy: You pointed it out very articulately. These things are feeding off of each other. Assoon as I start talking about deploying mobile, and increasingly, it’s not just deploying mobile tomy employees, but deploying mobile to my partners and customers, whether it’s B2B or B2C, Iam talking about a much broader network problem.So the network architectures of the cloud solutions are becoming almost synonymous withmobile solutions. So the two innovation cycles are intersecting and feeding off of each other.Gardner: Im sure we could spend an hour just talking about the network and the WANoptimization issues, but let’s focus today on the applications.Weve seen changes in the past around interfaces, application architectures, whether it was client-server, web, or moving towards services orientation. What is it now that organizations need to doto get their very necessary mission-critical information out to these mobile devices? Is this aseasy or more difﬁcult? How does it compare to the past?McCarthy: The analogy that I draw, when I have discussions with clients now, is that it’s likebeing the captain of the Titanic, if youre the CIO. Everybody is focusing on those things thatthey see above the waterline -- how am I going to design these applications and how am I goingto deliver them? Theres this whole debate of whether I need to go native, hybrid, or browser-based.But below the waterline is a huge broader part of the iceberg -- how am I going to manage theseapplications, how do I need to rethink my security architecture, is SOA really going to be enoughfor the level of integration that I need? The skill sets that I need as an IT shop are very differentin this world?
We are working from a current research point of view that mobile and all these other things thatare being bundled up with it that we just talked about are going to drive probably an order ofmagnitude bigger shift in IT and the CIO’s organization than the PC did 20 years ago.It’s the PC shift on steroids that we are going to be looking at over the next three to ﬁve years asmobile completely enables companies to rethink their business processes, and that drivesrethinking of their technology architectures, management, and skill sets underneath that.The app storeGardner: Sam Liu, weve seen an example, at least in the consumer space, of one way to startgoing at this applications delivery problem in order to get the full beneﬁt and productivity ofmobile devices and cloud delivery. Of course Im talking about the app store. Weve seen them ina handful of organizations and probably most prominently at Apple.From your perspective, why does the app store model on the consumer side, what weve seenalready, have applicability to the enterprise?Liu: Dana, it’s setting the bar in terms of the user experience in the enterprise, the fact that people who are both consumers and employees of companies are essentially buying the devices, bringing them into the workplace, and forcing the issue onto IT. You have the mobile professionals and power users of the company taking what theyve experienced in the consumer role and requesting a similar experience in the enterprise. The challenge for IT is that this opens up a wholenew can of worms for them in terms of policies, procedures, security, and control.If you look back maybe 15, even 10 years ago, a mobile device was somewhat of a luxury, usedby a few people in the company for primarily email. Most of the time, it was a BlackBerrydevice. Weve gone from a singular device and a singular application environment to this perfectstorm of a combination of a multitude of devices, platforms, and apps, popularized by theconsumer world. Thats a big challenge for IT.Gardner: John, weve seen Apple take it to the desktop as well. They have an app store for theirmore modern desktop operating environment. Is this the solution, part of the solution? Howconﬁdent are you that the app store is going to be an integral part of what the enterprise does vis-à-vis mobility?McCarthy: Clearly the notion of an app store is an interface to this technology. The rate ofchange and the complexity of this environment basically says that I need more of a self-servicemodule. I can’t go out there and hand-provision these applications like I did in the PC world.
Because people have become so accustomed to this app store model, as Sam just pointed out,from a consumer adoption point of view, that user interface paradigm is going to continue over. Ithink what’s going to happen is that, behind the scenes, the enterprise app store functionality,from a management point of view, will be much richer over time, and thats where the divergenceis going to be.But as an interface and a way to get people the information and applications, theres one schoolof thought that says these app stores will replace the old intranet as the paradigm for not onlygetting apps, but actually subscribing to information.Using technologies like Flipboard where you subscribe to the travel policy and you ultimatelyget the most updated version of that. That it’s going to evolve pretty dramatically from where weare today. It’s going to be the user interface paradigm to all this management capability that ITwill use, but also these additional capabilities that the end-user -- whether thats customer,employee, or partner -- will access.Mobile internet paradigmLiu: I agree with John on the point about the app store becoming the sort of mobile intranetparadigm. Today, Im not seeing any corporate intranet that work even halfway decent on amobile device. So if you extend the concept of an app to content, information, anything that isrelevant in a corporation, the app store paradigm is a very nice interface and a very effectivedelivery model for a mobile intranet, for that matter.McCarthy: The other thing Sam is that, if you think about these apps, theyre called apps,because they are not full-ﬂedged applications. Theyre much simpler and task-oriented, so theresgoing to be more of them to manage. The app intensity of the organization is going to growgeometrically, as we start to unbundle these big complex systems like SAP and Ofﬁce andprovide them in more digestible and more segmented experiences. It’s no longer a one-size-ﬁts-all world. The homogeneity of these applications and the PC as the end-user device is blowingapart as we speak.Liu: Deﬁnitely agree.Gardner: I think this aligns also very well with the methodological approach of servicesorientation. So with an SOA environment, for example, you would look for a registry orrepository to list the apps and services that would be available, and those could either be orderedup by someone crafting a business process or directly by the end users.Furthermore, to your point, John, about more granularity, were seeing services and componentsthat can be crafted into business processes, rather than those large hunking and brittle supportedapplications around enterprise resource planning (ERP) or some other big business activity. Sowe have a number of different levels in which app stores make sense.
Let’s move on now to how you get there. Is there an apps model or an app store model that wecan look to? Let me start with you Sam. Youve had some experience here. What is it that peopleneed to do? Should they build, buy, partner? How are you seeing it manifest in the market?Liu: Youre going to see a range of approaches. Weve been talking to about a dozen or soenterprise IT organizations. The majority of them are in the early stages of trying to ﬁgure thisout. They see the momentum coming. Theyre not going to be able to stop it, and so theyre tryingto ﬁgure out the right approach to dealing with all this multitude of devices and applications.In most cases, they seem to be prompted by the inﬂux of tablets and smartphones, but many ofthem are thinking beyond that. Theyre actually planning ahead. Theyre thinking about devicesin general. It could be a mobile device or it could be even a desktop or a stationary endpoint. Sotheyre looking beyond the immediate issues.Our advice to them is, look, ﬁgure out your near term and long-term objectives, and then scope apilot accordingly. Start with a clear deﬁnition of what youre trying to accomplish from abusiness standpoint, the objectives and the metrics, and then go about it that way. Identify themost pressing needs in terms of the users, apps, and devices and deﬁne your ﬁrst project aroundthat, so you can get a handle around what’s feasible and what’s not.One of the challenges is that clearly the technology has changed a lot, but also just the lifecycleof hardware and software. It used to be anywhere between three to ﬁve years that IT coulddepend on. Now, youre looking at one year for changes of the devices, platforms, and new apps.That rate of change is also a big challenge for them.Gardner: John, it seems that on the consumer side of app stores the goal is to move a lot ofapps, charge for them, and make a lot of money. It seems to me that on the enterprise side, this isreally more a function of control, of exerting policy, learning what apps are being used, by whomand how.How do you see the difference between an app store in the consumer space that were familiarwith and how the requirements around that should perhaps be different in the enterprise?Working in parallelMcCarthy: To go back to the question you asked Sam -- what’s happening and what’s been thecatalyst for these different level of discussions -- there are two things happening in parallel.People are moving out of the renegade pilot phase, and as Sam laid out, trying to take anarchitected approach. How do we holistically look at what our strategy is around mobile? Notjust developing the apps, but how are we going to manage the apps? How are we going tomanage the fact that different constituents, both internal and external, need different amounts offunctionality and different amounts of security is driving it?
The other thing that were seeing happening is, companies are now saying, "Oh my God, how amI going to manage the lifecycle of these apps? It’s relatively cheap and easy to build them, buthow do I keep up with the endless releases that are going on and the operating system wars onthese devices?" Apple and Google are doing four operating system releases a year that you needto manage to make sure your apps still runs.Then there is the whole point, particularly in the customer-facing space, of how do I update myapp so that it stays competitive, and we can really use that system of engagement with ourcustomers to build that ongoing communication, which every company wants to get with theircustomers?What we are seeing is that people are starting to look at how to manage the lifecycle of theseapps and then, in parallel to that, I need to ﬁgure out what are my policies going to be and thenhow do I enforce or instantiate those policies Thats where people are turning to these enterpriseapp stores from the vendors.Its less of a selling and more of a management prerogative and design point. Then, of course,there is the complexity of the device environment.Gardner: To that point Sam, do you see the app stores and enterprises also allowing forautomated updates to go out? It really helps in the conﬁguration, security, and patching types ofissues, as well as upgrading the app over time. Also, to John’s point about policy enforcement,perhaps you could address what youre seeing in terms of updates, security, and management forthe enterprise version of app stores?Liu: The enterprise app store, is all about the app, how to procure and vet the app, so to ensuresecurity and integrity, as well as distribute it to users, and controlling which users can haveaccess to which apps. Also, its enforcing policies, such as mandatory installs and updates ofversions. Those are overall key elements of enterprise app store.That said, its not the end-all be-all. Enterprise app lifecycle management is much more than that.Its another issues, from tools to the actual hardware device controls, but certainly when it comesto apps and managing apps on mobile devices, mobile users, the enterprise app store is a bigcomponent of that.Gardner: I wonder if there are some economic lessons here. It may be early on, but Imwondering whether there is way to better manage application licenses, to be able to charge backon who is using apps, and when we have that policy and we have that data usage, apply a bettereconomic model, so IT can be more transparent in terms of costs and beneﬁts.Sam, do you have any instances where folks have done this, and are there any monetary orbusiness metrics of success that we can look to that say "We like app stores, because theyreconvenient, but can they help the bottom line as well?"
Other featuresLiu: Some enterprise app stores don’t go beyond a basic app distribution and tracking, but inothers youll ﬁnd features such as license management. Not all apps will be developed in-house.Some will actually even be purchased from third parties.In a mobile world, you can expect to see more and more of that, only because, if nothing else,most IT organizations don’t have the system and the resources in-house for mobile devices andapps, so those tend to look outside to third parties for their solutions.So in that situation, license management is an important part of enterprise app stores, so that ITcan actually control just who has what license. If their job changes, we can bring it back andreallocate it to another user. Otherwise, you lose that cost that you paid for the app. Things likethat should be built into enterprise app store.You can also do bulk licensing. Most recently, you saw Apple’s program around bulk purchasingfor businesses. Similarly, enterprise app stores will have some mechanism, when its applicable,where companies can make bulk purchases and manage a pool of licenses across entire employeeor contractor base.Gardner: John, a similar question to you, do you see an economic beneﬁt to this as well as aconvenience and productivity beneﬁt?McCarthy: Initially its going to be, "I need to manage these things." Its going to be knowingwhats out there and making it easy for people to get at these things.Sam made the point that this is much more of an ecosystem play. This notion where I am goingto be developing everything myself isn’t going to work. Theres going to be a lot of these third-party apps that the company, either on their own or through their services provider vets and says,"Here are all these other productivity apps that you can take advantage of. We have made surethat they work with our core business apps that weve developed."But that focusing of what are limited IT resources is part of whats driving the app storephenomenon. IT doesn’t have time to build this themselves. They have to go out to a third-partyuniverse, because the value isn’t going to come from managing these things. The value is goingto come from these new customer or employee apps that allow us to rethink our businessprocesses. We need to manage that complexity or were going to have huge liabilities and hugerisk and compliance issues.Gardner: So Sam, it sounds as if the enterprise app store could also have a beneﬁting role whenit comes to a hybrid model. Apps might originate with third parties, clouds, or SaaS providers.They might be developed in-house or even a combination thereof, and yet the user, theemployee, would be able to access them in a singular fashion through a common interface and
with a common policy and management. So is that the vision over time do you think with theseapp stores?Liu: Absolutely. Its even a vision now. It shouldn’t matter, especially to the employee or theuser, where the apps come from or who built it. Its all about the experience.Also, in some ways it shouldn’t matter what device theyre coming in from, whether its asmartphone, an iPad, laptop, or desktop. There should be a similar rich user experience that’sappropriate for that particular form factor. So you abstract these hows and whats from a userstandpoint. It becomes a more user-friendly and more productive environment for the user.Gardner: We will have to begin closing out, but lets get a quick look to the future. John, anythoughts about either other trends or inﬂuences that will be encouraging organizations toexamine and consider the app store model for their own application lifecycle management?Reinventing the processMcCarthy: I think we are going to see more and more of these apps driving the reinvention ofbusiness processes. The reliance on these apps is only going to explode over the next three to ﬁveyears. So we need a way, as we have talked about, where its easy to ﬁnd those apps, but also itseasy to manage those apps.Its serving both sides, serving the needs of the businessperson or the customer, but also servingthe requirements of the organization to allow us to harness this, but minimize the cost ofmanaging these devices, making sure that they are secure, that we are not doing stuff withconsumer data that’s going to get us into trouble. This is part of the whole rethinking ofmanagement and security in a world where its much more mobile and much more outside theﬁrewall.Gardner: Same question to you, Sam, about the future. I wonder whether enterprises will becreating app stores for their employees, but could also start creating apps that they could sell interms of limited access to certain data or certain functionality. In a sense they could create newrevenue, new business models, that would reach mass market. Any thoughts about the future forhow businesses use app stores, not just internally, but as a business channel?Liu: Actually weve run into a few enterprises already thinking in that mode. Initially when wetalk to IT, theyre thinking about the internal issues, especially about controlling managementpolicies, but theyre also being asked to build systems that are customer-facing, and in somecases systems that deliver and sell products to customers. So, where it applies, such as softwareand apps, theyre looking at how to use the same paradigm for delivery of app services and appsto end customers.So its potentially a new channel and a new revenue model for companies, not just simply a costissue of trying to manage and control.
McCarthy: And there are all of those businesses that are going to emerge where people talkabout data exhausts. We know what people are doing. The app store becomes a way for people totap into that and you can start to monetize that.Gardner: And it strikes me that there shouldn’t be any reason that the same infrastructure thatsupports an internal app store wouldn’t also support an external one.Liu: No, its very similar.Gardner: Im afraid we are about out of time, Sam, is there a place folks can go for moreinformation? I understand you have a white paper available. Where would people go to get moreinformation on this enterprise app store and the management of mobility as a result?Liu: We have a white paper that’s freely available as a download on our website,www.partnerpedia.com.Gardner: And John, any research reports or notes that are available on this subject fromForrester?McCarthy: There are a number of reports that weve done outlining kind of the future of mobilemanagement. People can come to forrester.com and search the site and theyll ﬁnd the stuff thatmyself and a number of colleagues have written relative to this topic.Gardner: Youve been listening to a sponsored podcast discussion on how enterprise app storesare part of the equation for better mobile management and related mobile work success. I want tothank our guests. Weve been here with John McCarthy, Vice President and Principal Analyst atForrester Research. Thanks so much, John.McCarthy: Thanks very much, Dana.Gardner: Weve also been here with Sam Liu. He is Vice President of Marketing atPartnerpedia. Thank you, Sam.Liu: Thanks, Dana, and thanks, John.Gardner: This is Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions. Thanks for listeningand come back next time.For a free white papers on enterprise app stores and mobile management, go towww.forrester.com or www.partnerpedia.com.Listen to the podcast. Find it on iTunes/iPod. Sponsor: PartnerpediaTranscript of a sponsored podcast discussion on the emerging concept of enterprise app storesbased on the current consumer models. Copyright Interarbor Solutions, LLC, 2005-2011. Allrights reserved.
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