Enterprise-sanctioned app stores, for computer and mobile device applications, are expected to become more widespread. A recent report from Gartner predicts that 25% of enterprises will have their own app stores by 2017.

The report identifies three key enterprise app store trends and recommendations that can help enterprises benefit from the trend:

One is to look to mobile-device management (MDM) partners to include an app store as part of their offering. Enterprise app stores are expected to grow alongside MDM and BYOD policy adoption, and many MDM providers have simple ways of extending apps to mobile devices, as well as to PCs. Gartner advises that organizations begin by assessing their immediate need for an app store and then looking for providers that can include an app store in a mobile management bundle.

Second, enterprise app stores give end users more control (which they welcome) and the ability to choose the applications that best address their needs. “By delegating choice to end users,” said Gartner, “organizations can delegate many important price and performance decisions down to the end-user level.”

Lastly, enterprises can help ensure the success of an app store by keeping it full and vibrant. “Without a dynamic selection of apps to choose from, users will eventually have little reason to continue to visit an enterprise app store,” according to the Gartner report.

Brian Prentice, research vice president at Gartner, commented, “The implementation of an enterprise app store should be seen as a component of an organization’s application strategy, rather than infrastructure strategy. The primary determinant of success is app supply. As a result, application leaders should be given overall responsibility for any app store initiative, but they should work in a collaborative fashion with other teams. The types of apps downloaded and used provide important information as to what types of solutions are of value to each type of user”.

More detailed analysis is available in the report “Enterprise App Stores Can Increase the ROI of the App Portfolio”. The report is available on Gartner’s website at http://www.gartner.com/resId=2325115

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