5 Things We Learned About Business Apps In 2014

Mobile AppsMobility

IBM MaaS360 believes we can learn a lot from the evolving enterprise app landscape

This year there have been plenty of lessons to be learned from both public and custom apps used in business. For example, the trends of 2014 are a testament to the fact that the custom to public ratio will likely creep to 50/50 in the future.

Although adoption in enterprise has been much slower than the consumer market, apps are building a strong foundation in the market and 2014 was a very pivotal year.

Enterprise mobile management firm, IBM MaaS360, says its customers pushed out more than 15,000 apps to millions of employees in the last year alone – a mix of both public apps and customised apps. This was more apps than organisations had pushed out in any previous year.

Here, IBM MaaS360 shares the five key lessons to be learned from enterprise apps in 2014

1. Apps are everywhere – and they’re not going away

mobile phonesApps were certainly in the spotlight this year, and will continue to be as businesses recognise the value of enabling workers on the go. According to common public data, almost a third of employee devices have over 50 apps. Many users with 16GB devices have so many apps they need to remove some to make room for others. Enterprises are embracing apps as productivity boosters, not killers. This year clearly demonstrated that having an app policy is an integral part of the whole enterprise mobility package.

2. Public apps are being supported by IT

IT is enabling devices (both BYOD and COPE) and workers to be more productive. After providing access to corporate email, calendars and contacts, the next natural step is distributing public apps to employees. In 2014, we saw an increasing number of public apps being pushed to workers to increase productivity.

3. Companies are finally developing private apps

This year taught us that IT is on board with mobile enablement. Whether it’s coming from line of business owners or internal team pressures, IT is working to be a champion of mobilisation by building, designing, developing and deploying private apps more than ever. Many of these apps give workers access to systems that were previously guarded behind a firewall. According to MaaS360 data, custom apps account for about 38 percent of what’s pushed to employee devices. The trends of this year are a testament to the fact that the custom to public ratio will likely creep closer to 50/50 in the future.

4. Apps still aren’t secure

As apps get more and more access to corporate information, the need to secure not only the application but the data within that application grows exponentially. Many public apps, as well as first generation corporate apps, were built and deployed without security being an important or necessary function. In 2014, we learned that the technology to secure apps and their associated data has finally caught up to the rapid pace of development. Security features like containerisation, app wrapping, and building apps with security SDKs are becoming part of standard EMM offerings. This makes it quick and easy to implement security features and policies. Even better news is that usability of the app is not compromised.

5. IT professionals can’t do this alone

In almost all organisations, IT needs a suite of tools to satisfy the app hunger of both employees and internal business owners. IT needs to be able manage the entire lifecycle of the apps, including design, creation and deployment, while also managing the devices that will house the dozens, sometimes hundreds, of applications created and pushed to employees. Considering how quickly apps are being developed and adopted, management is necessary every step of the way. Support from the C-suite is also essential to the success of an app programme. Without these two pillars, an app programme cannot be successful.

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