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This post is from the Apperian blog and has not been updated since the original publish date.

Last Updated Sep 24, 2014 — App Management expert

How an Enterprise App Store Helps Small Businesses Punch Above their Weight

App Management

In a recent survey conducted by AT&T, 72% of small businesses said they use enterprise mobile apps in their day-to-day operations and over a third admitted it would be difficult to live without them. The reason enterprise mobility has proven so popular with smaller enterprises is that they consistently save time, lower costs, and increase productivity. One way small business can amplify the benefits of their mobility efforts is with an enterprise app store. Similar to Apple’s App Store and Google Play, an enterprise app store is a user-friendly interface capable of hosting both internal and approved external applications. While the concept is simple, an enterprise app store a powerful tool that can help small businesses compete with their bigger counterparts.

Secure Data and Enforce Better BYOD Policies

Enforcing a cohesive mobile app security policy is one of the biggest challenges enterprises of all sizes face when personal devices are brought into the work environment. In many cases, employees use their own apps to perform work tasks and unintentionally introduce security vulnerabilities into the enterprise in the process. With an enterprise app store, you can select any number of custom-built, customized, or select 3rd party applications and make them available through a familiar, easy-to-use interface. This makes enforcing BYOD policies much easier -- if an app is in the enterprise app store, it’s approved. If an app isn't, it can’t be used for work purposes.

Control Access and Act on Feedback

Another great benefit of having an enterprise app store is the ability to control access to applications and limit them to specific users or departments. For instance, it’s possible to configure a store to only display HR apps -- which contain sensitive information -- to members of the HR department or specific HR team members. Likewise, sales apps can be made available only to the sales department, and so forth. Controlling access to applications is performed through an administrative interface built into the enterprise app store and represents just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what a store is capable of. IT can examine download numbers, user ratings, feedback, and usage analytics to improve enterprise mobility management efforts. Through this feedback loop, you’re easily able to identify which apps are working, and which apps need to reconsidered.

Push Updates Instantly and Convert Sales

Mobile sales apps is an area where enterprise mobility really shines. Whether you’re in the business of selling products or providing a service, it’s imperative that your sales representatives have access to up-to-date information wherever they are in the field. With an enterprise app store, new or updated versions of applications are made available to employees immediately. This means that sales reps out in the field can download the latest apps and content they need at a moment’s notice, giving them the ability to deftly handle questions, discuss contract details, and negotiate on the spot.

Punch Above Your Weight Class and Compete with Bigger Companies

An enterprise app store will allow your small business to compete with larger organizations. Not only does a store greatly simplify mobile operations for both the enterprise and employees, but it also enhances the existing benefits of mobility. As a smaller, more agile operation, you’re in a better position to convert these benefits into increased profit.

Learn More

Watch this webinar with Maribel Lopez, Founder and Principal Analyst, Lopez Research, Abhijeet Solanki, Sr. Architect, NetApp, and Stephen Skidmore, Director of Product Marketing, Apperian. The panel discusses different app store approaches, provides practical tips for implementing an enterprise app store, and discusses a case study from a Fortune 1000 company. Watch it here.

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