As the need & acceptance for 24×7 connectivity grows in both personal & professional lives of the burgeoning corporate professionals all over the globe – a large number of organizations are now in need of enterprise-wide mobility. Such a business model requires intelligent application stores with a strong suite of functionalities.
What can be more befitting than a Mobile Platform for such technological dynamism? This can be achieved through provisioning of applications for a particular user through Identity Management platform. However, for multiple reasons that relate to the security, control & performance, it’s absolutely necessary that Enterprise Architects should first think about creating an Enterprise App Warehouse, which is available to users based on their roles and responsibilities.
An Enterprise App Warehouse empowers businesses to white-list / black-list applications and exercise better control over employees' (user's) mobile devices.
An Enterprise App Warehouse can manage the corporate sanctioned Apps on all connected devices – PCs, cell-phones, tablets or any other mobile devices that can be integrated to multiple platforms. The question is the need of this Enterprise App Warehouse available privately to enterprise users rather than the public app stores.
One of the critical reasons for adoption of Enterprise App Warehouse is that download from public store can disrupt corporate IT security, application and procurement strategies. Therefore, just like BYOD, Bring Your Own Application (BYOA) has become important and is gaining popularity in corporate circles. The idea is to distribute an enterprise oriented application through App stores like Google, Apple or an enterprise app store option with-in these mobile platforms and hence there is a new enterprise marketplace inside marketplace for fulfilling such requirements.
How can this be made possible with the existing set of functionalities and App related capabilities?
Here it is – we bring to you a possible approach:
- Enterprise app store application need to be built out and deployed through public app stores. What this means is that platforms like Apple, Google or Microsoft need to set certain policies where organizations can discretely and securely distribute apps to their employees while taking advantage of the services the store have to provide.
- Dedicate profile to be created for an Enterprise App Store, which will share login credentials and SSO capabilities between the apps within the Enterprise App Store. The apps/services distributed through these channels should then further sync among themselves to make sure they are encrypted/SSO compliant thereby making it easier for the IT admin to monitor usage and accesses.
- From an IDM system the provisioned apps will be able to take advantage of features like geo-fencing and also time based usage. The admin should be able to lock these apps based on the time, frequency or the location of the employee. For e.g. The employee won’t be able to access these apps over a weekend or in a country of conflict to protect the sensitive data.
- When a user is off-boarded, Enterprise App Store will no longer exist for that specific user (applicable for case where mobile getting stolen or lost – helpdesk can revoke access). Also possibilities like remote wipe and account removals should be fairly easy without physically wiping or confiscating the devices.
The good news is companies like Blackberry, Google and Apple are partnering with established players like defense companies, banks and IT giants making this a reality and there have been many breakthroughs in the field as well.
When the App culture created a fear into the minds of security professionals, and it was not long when a fix was found. The lunch table discussion that goes around is no more about the problems but the possibilities that surround when enterprises put together an App Warehouse.
On a closing note – don’t be afraid over App-synchronized IT environments, there is already an app (store) for businesses to capitalize on.