Executive Summary: When Applications Attack

Overview

Many organizations are consciously avoiding addressing the growing concern of unmanaged apps and applications in the enterprise. However, the IT environment has reached a tipping point with BYOD initiatives, multiple operating systems, and application sprawl. Application management can no longer be ignored. Enterprises that adopt application management processes and technologies enjoy greater productivity and responsiveness to evolving business needs. Products like Flexera Software’s AdminStudio and App Portal are designed to help IT teams automate and mature their app management processes.

Context

Rod Trent discussed the evolving IT landscape and the need for organizations to develop effective application management systems. Timothy Davis described how Flexera Software AdminStudio and App Portal support enterprises with Application Readiness initiatives.

Key Takeaways

As the technology and application management landscapes have evolved, some IT tasks have become easier and others more challenging.

In the past, application management was both simpler in some ways and also more difficult. All employees in an enterprise used the same applications. As a result, IT teams understood the scope of applications they had to manage. On the other hand, application delivery and updates were manual processes. It was not uncommon for IT teams to have to manually bring diskettes to each PC and install software.

Today, application management has become more automated and applications can be delivered and updated en masse. However, the enterprise technology landscape has become far more complex. BYOD programs can’t be ignored. In addition, every employee has their favorite apps which connect to the enterprise network. Current challenges associated with application management include:

  • Application compatibility. It is unclear whether different apps will break corporate systems.
  • Security concerns. The proliferation of apps may result in security exploits. Over 50% of the apps in the Google Play Store, for example, have callback EXECUTIVE SUMMARY :: PAGE 3 When an organization has an effective app management system in place, the IT team is prepared for the worst and then is pleasantly surprised at its readiness as the business evolves. Rod Trent mechanisms. In addition, in-app advertising increases the burden on organizations’ network bandwidth.
  • Diverse operating systems. App management is no longer just a Windows problem. IT teams must manage unlimited numbers of apps on platforms like iOS, Android, and others.
  • Application update frequency. Looking ahead, the frequency of application updates is likely to increase, causing incompatibilities.

Ignoring application management can be costly, making it essential to develop an effective app management system.

Since application management is often resource intensive, organizations may be inclined to put it on the back burner. However, IT teams must change their systems and processes to better address business needs. Because homegrown solutions can be difficult and rarely work, investing in technology solutions for application management is a preferred approach.

Rod Trent outlined characteristics associated with effective application management systems. They are:

  1. Productive. With good app management in place, IT can help the business become more productive.
  2. Business tested and approved. Systems must be flexible enough to accommodate the evolving business requirements.
  3. Agile. When developing an app management system, it is important to focus on agility for both the business and the IT team. IT professionals must be able to easily integrate new employees into the enterprise, along with new devices and apps.
  4. Secure. Risk reduction is a central part of an effective application management solution, given the risks introduced by different apps.

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