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The battle to bring your own app

Adam Bender | Jan. 29, 2015
Some CIOs are exploring how BYOA initiatives can drive business productivity.

Coca-Cola Amatil is still perfecting the feedback process used to determine what new apps to recommend. "We can get a lot better on that, but I think as we leverage more and more crowdsourcing on the support side and have our vendors actively involved in that crowdsourcing support, we will get better feedback and get far more tailored in best practice usage of the apps," Simpson says.

CASA has had an enterprise app store based on Citrix XenMobile software in full production since the end of June. "People can actually download apps as they need to, at their own discretion, to be used for work purposes," says Forrest.

The apps are primarily focused on aviation. CASA engages with people using the mobile devices and collects feedback on what apps are in demand. If it determines the app will be useful and is unlike anything currently available, the organisation investigates whether it can deploy the app in its enterprise app store.

"The view is to be proactive in that space. If we don't, then people will download it and they'll install it and they'll use it anyway," Forrest says.

Licensing can be a challenge to adding apps people want to the app store, he says. "We've had a look at a few apps where they are free on the app store, and requested by CASA staff members, [but] when we've had a look at the licensing requirements it becomes quite expensive."

Gartner has fielded an increasing number of questions from clients about enterprise app stores, "but there is a lot of daylight between people asking questions and actually implementing enterprise app stores," says Prentice. "At the moment, it's a tyre-kicking activity."

One of the challenges is organisations incorrectly see app stores as an extension of traditional desktop management practices. "So the app store comes along and they say, 'This is great. It's exactly the same thing but it gives people the illusion of choice'," he says.

But there is a difference, in that employees using their own devices can elect to ignore the app store set up by their employer, Prentice says.

"The key issue with an enterprise app store is supply: How do you get enough stuff in the app store so that people want to bother going back a second time?" he asks.

Productivity versus security
While allowing personal apps in the workplace can raise security concerns, CIOs must balance this risk against possible gains in productivity.

"Security is getting more complicated to manage, but I don't see it as an inhibitor," Simpson comments. "It's just something you need to actively manage. We will protect company data wherever it is, whatever it's on."


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