Enterprise app stores are top of mind among CIOs these days as they struggle to address employee expectations for convenient, consumer-style access to business apps and enterprise demands for optimizing application usage and maximizing software value. Senior IT executives are discovering that the app store model can drive an effective Application Usage Management strategy that enables enterprises to get more value from their investment in applications while reducing compliance risks and cutting license fees and administration expenses.
Secrets to Success: Integration with Application Readiness and Software License Optimization Solutions
On their own, app stores deliver important benefits in the enterprise. To derive maximum value, however, an app store has to do far more than simply provide an easy way to order business applications. A successful app store integrates tightly with solutions that help you to keep applications in a state of readiness for deployment into a variety of environments; make applications easily and immediately available to employees; and effectively manage software licenses to ensure continuing license compliance while optimizing usage and minimizing spend.
For example, tying your app store into Application Readiness processes and solutions helps keep store shelves stocked with applications that are ready for immediate delivery in a variety of formats and to a variety of devices. An application packaging solution with capabilities such as automatic creation of app store catalog entries can save a significant amount of time for the IT staff and ensure that new applications are available right away for employees.
To fulfill application requests effectively, the app store has to know how many licenses the enterprise owns for each application, how many licenses are in use and how many are available. With real-time access to that data, the store can automatically reserve licenses at the time someone submits a request. This type of integration enables you to maintain continuous license compliance and trigger procurement processes when additional licenses are needed.
Additionally, with ready access to software usage data, the app store can identify applications that are installed but not being used, and then reclaim those licenses to eliminate overbuying. Software leasing, which gives business people access to an application for a limited period of time, can also be managed through an app store that integrates with Software License Optimization solutions.
Bottom-line benefits of integrating an app store with Application Readiness and Software Licensing Optimization solutions include:
- Rapid availability of apps
- Continuing license compliance
- Elimination of license overbuying
Factors to Consider
To ensure optimal value from your enterprise app stores there are several critical factors you need to consider in planning, selecting and an enterprise app store:
- High licensing costs. Business applications can cost hundreds, or even thousands of dollars. As a result, IT must ensure that only people who need those applications can obtain them and that request and fulfillment processes incorporate appropriate management approvals and cost tracking. At the same time, IT must ensure that tracking and control mechanisms don’t discourage employees from embracing the app store model.
- IT environment diversity. An enterprise app store has to be highly sophisticated to deal with the increasing heterogeneity found in most enterprises, including multiple operating platforms, virtualized infrastructures, private and public clouds and software as a service (SaaS). It must allow people to download business apps to a variety of devices, ranging from servers and desktops to laptops, tablets and smartphones, and it must have the intelligence to determine the operating environment and device type for each application requested.
- Software license optimization. Operating your app store in the broader context of Software License Optimization enables you to optimally balance license purchases with software usage and perform such tasks as reclaiming and reassigning licenses that are installed but are no longer being used. Achieving this balance requires integrating the app store with supporting license management systems.
- Selection of deployment-ready applications. To attract users to your app store, you must to offer a broad selection of applications ready for immediate deployment. One way to ensure a wide selection of deployment-ready applications is to integrate the enterprise app store with an Application Readiness system that provides automated application compatibility testing and packaging for a wide range of deployment scenarios.
The Flexera Software Solution
Flexera Software is a recognized industry leader in the enterprise app store market with App Portal. Flexera Software has integrated App Portal with two of its other best-of-breed products — FlexNet Manager Platform (the foundation of FlexNet Manager Suite for Enterprises) and AdminStudio. This integration unifies the software request, application compatibility and packaging, deployment and license management processes.
Learn more about how Flexera Software solutions work together to help you ensure rapid availability of applications, continuous license compliance and reduced spending on business applications.