Enterprise App Stores: Achieving Greater Control Over Security, Monitoring
Enterprise app stores offer companies numerous advantages. When properly designed, an enterprise app store makes it extremely easy for employees to locate and download mobile apps that are tailored to their job function. After all, as many employees are accustomed to using the Apple App Store and Google Play, they’ve come to expect simplicity and convenience in finding the apps they’re most interested in. For IT and administrators, one of the biggest benefits of an enterprise app store is that it provides added control, mobile app security, and monitoring capabilities over public app stores. So while employees require easy access for identifying and downloading enterprise mobile apps, IT and administrator need to ensure that the right employees are downloading the apps and data that are suitable based on their roles, responsibilities, and authorization levels. For example, a local hospital provides its physicians, surgeons, nurses, and administrators with enterprise apps that allow each group of employees to do their jobs more efficiently and productively using tablets. To ensure that it’s addressing HIPAA compliance and other patient privacy policies, certain groups of administrators are provided access to a patient’s financial and transactional information (e.g. dates they’ve been treated at the hospital and the lengths of their stay). Meanwhile, physicians and surgeons are granted higher levels of access to each patient’s medical information than nurses and physician assistants. An enterprise app store can be used by hospital IT personnel and administrators to ensure that physicians, nurses, and other staff are only able to access and download those apps that they’re authorized to. This also represents a means for IT to overcome the challenges associated with shadow IT in which employees go around the IT organization to access the apps and data that they want. Obtaining greater control, security, and monitoring over the apps that employees are accessing helps explain why enterprise app stores are gaining in popularity as more companies shift away from the use of public app stores. In fact, by 2017, 25% of companies will have enterprise app stores in place, according to Gartner.