Enterprises want app stores too
June 14, 2011 —
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Apple's iPhone didn't just revolutionize smartphones; it also introduced the first concrete and successful app store in the world. Four years later, app stores aren't just for consumers anymore. A number of companies are pushing their own variation on the app store theme in order to bring enterprises onboard with this simpler way to distribute software.
App stores in the last year have begun to creep off of phones and onto desktops. With Apple's newer Mac Store and Intel's AppUp app store, a large variety of software can be found for uses that have traditionally been performed by boxed software. But with the app store model comes the ease of automatic updates, simple installations and quicker discovery by users, all benefits that are appealing to the enterprise.
To that end, MobileIron offers private enterprise app stores that can be hosted from within a company in order to disseminate applications to employees.
Sean Ginevan, solutions architect for the MobileIron product team, said that, for enterprises, app stores are about a lot more than just software. “One of the things important in highly vertical markets is the identity of the users," he said.
"In financial services, we have one customer whose corporate board is going to use an app to share data about the outlook of the company: its financial health and so forth. The average employee shouldn't get that data, so they're making sure only the right user can get it.
"Once you've figured out who it is, the question becomes, 'What is going on with that device?' Is that going to meet the minimum security criteria? If a pharmaceutical company said, 'We're going to gather clinical trial data with an app,' that puts them under all sorts of regulatory concerns from the FDA."
And thus, as is usually the case inside enterprises, controls over the end users is of paramount importance. MobileIron's private app store offers user management controls to limit the access of some users while expanding the access of others. These controls extend from simple user identity to tracking the type of device used and verifying it against a set of security standards.