Is It Time For CIO’s To Open Up Their Own App Store?

by drjim on April 30, 2014

CIOs might want to think about getting into the App Store business

CIOs might want to think about getting into the App Store business
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It’s a fact of life that today’s smartphones are only as smart as the apps that we run on them. However, for the person who has the CIO job, that brings up a troubling question: just exactly what apps are the people in your company running on their company provided smartphones? For that matter, where did they get those apps from?

Five Reasons Why A CIO Should Open An App Store

We all know about the importance of information technology and so we understand that there are many different reasons why when you are in the CIO position you might consider going to all of the effort of opening an app store to be used by the company’s employees. Here are five of the most important reasons:

  1. Boost Quality: Let’s face it, just about any app can make it into either Apple’s or Google’s app store. As the CIO of your company, you’d like to have just a bit more control over the quality of the apps that your staff are downloading onto their company provided smart phones. Additionally, by controlling what version of an app people are downloading you can ensure that everyone is running the correct up-to-date version.
  2. Feedback: When the IT department knows what apps the employees are using, then they can react to this. The IT department will now have the ability to create recommendations for employees (“if you like this app, then try this app”) and likewise employees can tell the IT department which apps they like, and which ones they don’t.
  3. Get Respect For The IT Department: As the trend of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) starts to take hold, an app store give the IT department an opportunity to show the company’s senior management that the IT department is reacting to the company’s immediate needs with useful solutions.
  4. Free Up IT: When employees use a public app store, they don’t know what kind of app they are going to get. When that app doesn’t work or interferes with other apps, then more often than not they’ll call the IT department for help. By controlling what apps users can download though the company app store, the IT department can cut down on the number of calls for support that they receive.
  5. Boost Security: On the public app stores, although the user might think that they recognize the name of an app that they are downloading, they may in reality be downloading a bogus app. By redirecting employees to the company app store, the IT department can ensure that only non-bogus secure apps are downloaded.

What All Of This Means For You

Smartphones and their associated apps have become a necessary part of our everyday life. If you are in the CIO position, you have a big problem on your hands when it comes to ensuring the security and reliability of the apps that the people in your company are using. That’s why opening your own app store might be the right thing to do.

Creating your own app store will allow you to improve app quality control. You’ll be able to gather user feedback and impress senior executives. Running your own app store may reduce the support burden on the IT department and will make everyone’s smartphone more secure.

Opening your own app store is not something that you can do overnight. You’ll need to ease into this. You’ll also have to sell the idea to the rest of the company and make sure that you have the apps that they want. Take the time to do this right and you just might be running the app store that everyone wants to shop at!

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World IT Department Leadership Skills™

Question For You: Do you think that you should provide any games in your company sponsored app store?

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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

It seems like a classic IT problem. You’ve got a lot of separate medical facilities all trying to provide medical services to people who live in the same country. What’s even better is that everyone is taking part in a nationally provided health care program. It sure seems like creating a single database to hold everyone’s healthcare records would be an almost no-brainer. Over in the U.K. they tried to do this, and things have not gone as they were planned.

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