By every measure, Apple’s App Store is a huge success. Apple maintains complete control over the App Store, everything from the applications available to billing and delivery through its self-service portal. It is simple, direct, and ruthlessly efficient.
Apple’s App Store has over 2 million applications available, and the App Store has racked up billions of dollars in sales since its inception in 2008. Children of all ages and even elderly adults have accessed the store to install applications on their devices without making a single call to a help desk.
Now, contrast the excellent user experience that Apple provides to the less than excellent experience of installing applications within your business. Most likely, the process is cumbersome, slow, and labor-intensive. Application installation requests usually will require an end-user to make numerous calls or to submit tickets to a help desk. Since installing an app on an iPhone is so quick and painless, does tying-up support with the mundane task of deploying applications even make sense? Imagine how streamlined life could be if you applied that same efficiency to the task of application deployments within your business.
Of course, there is a stark difference between mobile applications and PC/Mac application deployment. Unlike mobile software, computer application licenses are quite a bit different. Most notably are the issues of OS compatibility and varied system resources. Software license costs are also far more expensive. Moreover, desktop license and usage rights further increase complexity with the need to track:
- Available license inventory
- Reclaim license when an application goes unused for months at a time, or when an employee leaves.
- Role-based access control (users have access to only the applications they need)
- Approval workflow for one-off license requests
- Upgrade your entire enterprise to a new version or application – and be able to see the progress of the install/uninstall.
- Bundle items needed for new hires based upon their role
- Remove applications that you don’t want in your environment (Blacklist)
However, If you could address all of those challenges, then installing new applications would be immediate and frictionless. You would also achieve the welcome benefit of eliminating calls/tickets to the help desk.
In this scenario, specialized application licenses are properly controlled, license inventories are accurate, unused licenses reclaimed, and role-based access controls are enforced. Business users would gain immediate access to needed applications without enlisting the help of a technical middle-man. Best of all, spiraling application costs would be constrained.
Since the benefits to this approach are obvious, ask yourself, why doesn’t something like this already exist?
Well, you’ll be glad to know it does, the product is aptly named Universal Enterprise App Store, and it’s available from Flexera. Check it out; https://www.flexera.com/blog/application-readiness/2015/07/universal-enterprise-app-store-the-real-world-benifits/
You’ll be glad you did.