Feeds

iTunes-for-corporates private app stores put firms at risk – survey

You'll pay three times when yon luser downloads it thrice

High performance access to file storage

Businesses risk flunking software licence audits and overpaying for their apps by rolling out their own take on Apple’s iTunes app stores for business.

That’s the warning from an IDC and Flexera Software poll that found 63 per cent of companies are planning their own enterprise app stores.

Stores will be used by staff to download apps for things like personal productivity and creativity from Microsoft and Adobe Software – two companies renowned for sending in the audit shock troops to see what you’re running.

But, the poll found, 59 per cent of firms planning such a strategy are “not well positioned” to understand the risks they are running.

De-centralising central IT = not the best idea

Those risks include staff downloading and using software they aren't allowed under a licence agreement, with their employers paying millions of dollars in top-ups come audit time. Also, staff downloading without proper oversight or sign off thereby running up unnecessary software costs.

Enterprise app stores are on the rise. Gartner said back in 2011 that 60 per cent of corporate IT departments would deploy a private app store by 2014.

App stores are seen as providing a more flexible and effective approach to rolling out software across organisations with thousands of PCs. The download model is opposed to the existing practice of burning a standard PC image that’s tested against all machines before being installed manually.

The app store, theoretically, also provides a means to provision groups of users running a particular set of non-standard apps with less fuss and involvement from central IT.

Flexera reckons the Apple app store has raised awareness about this model, as people at work want the same simple model of application delivery they get at home.

Off-the-shelf app stores are available from Flexera with its App Portal as well as from companies such as Service Now.

But, Flexera warned, some companies haven’t thought through the complications involved and they think it means simply slapping a portal-front end on their help desk.

This means tying app stores into existing business systems to confirm licence compliance and to ensure those downloading apps are entitled to us them.

Nor are organisations thinking about tying app stores into their existing procurement systems, for managerial sign-off on app downloads to help control costs.

Companies therefore risk paying tens of millions of dollars in licence costs on top of fees to software companies like Microsoft and Adobe as users download apps they aren’t entitled to.

Flexera reckons a quarter of enterprises ended up paying a million dollars to software-makers in the last year to balance what they owned on licences.

However, it reckons others have paid in the “tens of millions of dollars” range.

Alternatively, companies might find users are downloading the same copies of apps – Flexera EMEA vice president Patrick Gunn told The Reg that he’s come across examples of companies where the same app as been downloaded on a work PC three or four times.

Often, it’s because the user forgot they had or lost the existing version of the app concerned or they downloaded a new version when the old version still worked.

The Flexera and IDC's Software Application Usage Management Report surveyed more than 750 respondents from software ISVs, intelligent device manufacturers and end-user enterprises during the first half of this year.

The topic was the consumerisation of enterprise IT. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
Windows 8.1, which you probably haven't upgraded to yet, ALREADY OBSOLETE
Pre-Update versions of new Windows version will no longer support patches
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Windows XP still has 27 per cent market share on its deathbed
Windows 7 making some gains on XP Death Day
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
US taxman blows Win XP deadline, must now spend millions on custom support
Gov't IT likened to 'a Model T with a lot of things on top of it'
Batten down the hatches, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS due in TWO DAYS
Admins dab straining server brows in advance of Trusty Tahr's long-term support landing
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.