Enterprise mobile apps may very well be the next big thing in the app world. Although their value for consumers has been known for some time now, apps are starting to take off with bigger companies, too. A report from earlier this year found that 48% of companies deploy 1 to 10 apps for employees on mobile devices-a number that's only expected to increase with time.
Even so, deployment of these apps is less streamlined. Gartner reports that by 2017, 25% of enterprises will have an enterprise app store. Other alternatives include public app stores (iTunes, Google Play) and API stores, which work, but are still somewhat clumsy. So, whilst there are a number of different ways to deploy your apps in the enterprise, your own enterprise app store may be the best option. Here’s why:
Increased adoption: Want to drive adoption of the app(s) you just spent so long developing? Instead of relying on a public app store (where apps are hard to find) or an API store (which are more complicated), try a centralized enterprise app store. Having all your apps in one place makes it much more likely that your employees will become users.
Access to analytics: You can’t know the impact of your app if you don’t know how many people are using it. You may get analytics from other deployment solutions, but developing your own app store allows you to custom tailor what you will track and how you'll track it. It's much easier to 'sell' the value of an enterprise app if you have stats to back you up.
Productivity increases: Mobile apps can increase productivity in a lot of ways, whether they help your employees cheque out consumers faster or catalyze innovation of old processes. You’ll see the most benefit from these potential productivity increases if you have more users, and having more users is much more likely with a streamlined distribution channel.
Lower cost: Centralized management of apps simplifies the process and makes updating, maintaining, and managing your company's app programme easier. This leads to lower costs in addition to the benefits described above.
Mobile apps in the enterprise aren't a cure-all, but they can be immense sources of innovation and productivity gains when used correctly. Of course, that only matters if you can actually get employees to start using your apps.
Even if you already have you own mobile app, an enterprise app store isn't a necessity. That said, for companies across a wide variety of industries, an enterprise app store may be the next step in driving adoption and getting the most out of your investment in mobile apps.