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Enterprise App Stores: Essential Features

6 Facilities that Every Enterprise App Store Must Necessarily Offer

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With the exponential increase in employees using their personal mobile devices while in the office environment, more companies are into implementing BYOD or “bring your own device” programs, in order to allow them to use their smartphones and other devices to work with business apps. This in turn has created a boom in enterprise app stores, which are specifically meant for private use by employees of a company, so as to make the entire process more secure, yet enjoyable for the user downloading and using those apps.

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Here is a list of essential 6 features that every enterprise app store should possess:

1. Control of Access

The app store should be so designed as to give access only to authorized personnel to download and install apps presented therein. Each department in the enterprise is assigned certain key functions and only employees of a particular designation should be able to access certain apps meant for their use. For instance, an employee working in the Human Resource department should not be given access to apps meant exclusively for the Marketing or Sales department.

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2. Device Registration

In order to exercise maximum security control, the enterprise should create and maintain a detailed database of all employees, along with the details of the mobile devices they use in office. Once this registration process is complete, it becomes easier for the enterprise to assign app download privileges to exclusive groups of employees within the company.

App downloads and usage should be monitored, so that strict action can be taken against employees who do not adhere to the guidelines as laid down by the company.

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3. Assured Security

Enterprise app stores should be capable of providing the maximum possible security to employees downloading and using the apps here. All downloads should be made available via a secure VPN channel. Employees should be denied access to downloading apps via unsecured network connections.

In case of a security attack, whether internal or external, the company app store should be capable of identifying the source of the trouble and also preventing similar attacks in the future.

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4. Centralized Administrative Control

It would be most advisable for the administrative department to maintain an intuitive, Web-based console for managing the existing apps in the app store. This would enable them to easily approve or disapprove; update or delete; and archive or retire apps as and when required. Following this systematic approach would also enable them to assign particular privileges to particular sections of employees.

The organization should formulate strict policies for approving and including apps in its store and must eliminate apps not adhering to this policy.

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5. Multi-Platform Compatibility

Enterprise app stores should also offer multi-platform compatibility, so as to cater to the major mobile systems currently in existence. The leading mobile platforms today are Android and the iOS. BlackBerry comes in at third place, with Windows Phone steadily picking up steam in the mobile market. All these platforms, plus a few others such as Samsung’s Bada OS, should be supported by the company’s private app store.

Ideally, the app store should provide employees with the choice to download apps either directly via the enterprise app marketplace or via their mobile Web browser.

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6. App Update Notifications

The administrative department must be able to send users push notifications on app updates, upgrades, security patches and so on. Supporting OTA or over-the-air updates enables users to easily apply these updates on their devices, without wasting unnecessary time or effort over it.

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