Sunday, January 16, 2011

Apps Stores coming to your Enterprise - "iTunes IT" - Part II

Following up on my initial post, it seems that one of the areas that resonated with readers was the idea of "app store" like functionality coming to their businesses, internally. In doing some more research, it appears that this concept is already starting to gain some traction from very large players in the market, such as - Restricted Enterprise App Store (Apple patent via FastCompany), VMware Project Horizon, and Citrix OpenAccess

Now by no means is this is a new idea, as other have written about it and companies like Google and have been delivering this concept via SaaS offerings for a couple years. But businesses are often slow to adopt change, so seeing major vendors adopting a model that is closer to Enterprises (and mid-market), giving them a greater level of control of certain elements, is a step in the right direction to affect this type of change. It allows end-users and lines-of-business to leverage new services (internal or external), while continuing to allow a level of control/trust/security for the IT organization.

This brings up some interesting questions for makers of Enterprise software.
  • Who is your customer now and over the next few years if this trend gains traction? 
  • Do you know how to target the end-users and ISVs that will be the consumers and suppliers of these Enterprise App Stores?
  • Are you learning anything from consumer marketing or social media to better target or influence you future customers?
  • Are you ready for communities of user-feedback to potentially have greater influence over future sales than licensing lock-in?
  • Are you continuing to shift your user-experience to work seamlessly with the new types of devices that expect to gain productivity via Enterprise App Stores?

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