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Apr 23, 2013

The Best (and Worst) Strategies for Distributing Enterprise Apps

You probably have some "others" in your business model -- outside employees that include; subcontractors, franchisees and agencies. This is great for cutting costs and handling projects with a lean team, but it can create new challenges when considering how you distribute your enterprise apps. In this post, we’ll work in reverse -- offering the worst practice first before offering better practices for implementing a mobile application management strategy across a distributed mobile workforce.

Bad Idea #1: Distribute enterprise apps with the same level of security to everyone in your organization -- including the “others.” This is a bad idea from the get-go. It leaves your sensitive data vulnerable. Sure, your contractors and partners may be trustworthy, but what happens when they unintentionally see something that could give a competitor an advantage over you? It can –- and does -- happen.

Better Idea #1: Use a custom enterprise app store to manage distribution with the right level of permissions. Your own enterprise app store offers the flexibility and scalability to distribute apps to whomever you work with, while placing strong emphasis on mobile security and access criteria.

Bad Idea #2: Distribute apps to contractors/partners indefinitely. One surefire way to cause trouble in distributing enterprise apps is to leave the application open-ended. It’s kind of like leaving a contract open-ended, stuff happens.

Better Idea #2: Limit the time an “other” has access to your apps. By limiting the time passwords work and access is available, you have to revisit who needs access to your apps and can manage updates to long-term contractors and partners more effectively.

Bad Idea #3: Distribute apps to contractors/partners without involving your legal team. Contractors, agencies and franchisees are all “separate legal entities.” Just like with contracts, policies and other legal agreements, you need to have your legal team take a look for vulnerabilities.

Better Idea #3: Get your legal ducks in a row  before you distribute apps. Before you distribute your enterprise apps to your “others,” be sure all the legal paperwork is in order so that both your company and your extended team are protected.


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