Beating the Odds of App Fatigue for Enterprise IT

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blog1Many of us may be suffering from “app fatigue”, a symptom that overwhelms us with loads of apps on your laptops or mobile devices over time. While this phenomenon emanates from the consumer world, it holds true for the enterprise IT world as well.

According to a 2014 Gartner report on enterprise application software market share, the market for enterprise application software will continue to grow throughout Asia Pacific region, led by leading software categories of enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM), business intelligence (BI), supply chain management (SCM), enterprise content management (ECM), digital content creation (DCC) and, project and portfolio management (PPM). Management of such diverse software categories is eroding the capability of enterprise IT rolling out an IT-as-a-Service (ITaaS) consumption model as an enabler for their business users.

Here’s my take on battling app fatigue for enterprise IT, especially when ITaaS is on the cards.

#1: Simplify Enterprise App Store and Enforce Compliance

Administering enterprise software is not easy, especially where IT resources are scarce. The enterprise app store should be the first and only ITaaS service provisioning gateway for users to apply or request for enterprise apps access and support. This should ideally include default data protection policies for different user groups. When fully automated as an on-demand apps portal, it reduces IT administrative resources and ensure apps compliance in order to maintain IT control and security. This self-service portal reduces software support and service ambiguity and helps enterprise IT in tracking any out-of-support apps running within the IT infrastructure or even shadow IT involved outside the domain of enterprise IT.

#2: Standardize and Integrate Data Protection Solutions in ITaaS Service Framework

Data protection is often relegated to second priority when it comes to deploying ITaaS. Business critical apps such as Microsoft Exchange, SQL Server, Oracle, SAP and Sharepoint require different data protection SLAs to suit the business needs. It’s suicidal for enterprise IT if data protection fails to measure up to the investment in enterprise apps and infrastructure supporting them. Standardizing and integrating data protection solutions across all enterprise apps and storage within the ITaaS service framework makes sense (cents) for the ease of data management and single-plane-of-glass management.

#3: Listen to App Users and Walk the Talk

App users are not lame ducks that take whatever enterprise IT mandate for IT-supported applications. Enterprise IT needs to measure the adoption of ITaaS within the organization to ensure that they are an effective service broker to the app users. The self-service enterprise app store needs to encompass interface-friendly, fast service provisioning of app access, storage and data protection in meeting different user-level service level expectations. By enabling users to have visibility and control in the entire self-service platform, enterprise IT gives empowerment to users where it matters. It is also recommended that IT collects user ratings, usage patterns and reviews so that you can adjust or enhance app provisioning and data protection SLAs. This further mitigates app users bypassing IT and using non-supported applications within the IT infrastructure.

As ITaaS gains ground in the coming years, enterprise IT needs to take into consideration the right mix of enterprise apps with the flexibility of integrating data protection and app provisioning capabilities in reducing or addressing app fatigue for both enterprise IT and business users. The first step is to identify apps clutter and systems that lead to operational bottlenecks.

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