Browsium offers to help CIOs make sense of "multi-browser world"

Internet Explorer

US-based Browsium has released a beta version of its new Catalyst tool, which allows IT departments to dictate the internet browser used to open specific websites.

The company specialises in web browser management software and was founded in 2010 by several former Microsoft execs.

Its flagship offering, Ion, allows end users to run Internet Explorer-dependent legacy apps in later versions of the browser.

Earlier this week, the firm took the wraps off its new Catalyst offering, which lets IT departments set policies that dictate the browser used when employees access their web-based apps.

Speaking to IT Pro, Gary Schare, the company's president, said the product is designed to help IT departments regain control of the "multi-browser environments" that may have developed within their companies.

In the enterprise, he claims, Internet Explorer is still the dominant web browser used by CIOs to deliver web-based line of business apps, but users may prefer to use Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome instead.

"Mozilla and Google have made it easier for people to download [their browsers] without needing admin rights on their machines," said Schare.

"IT professionals want control of end user PCs, including their browsers, [to make sure] people aren't acting in a way that could leave their company exposed to cyber threats," he added.

App compatibility problems, whereby users try to access online apps in browsers they are not designed for use with, can cause big problems for companies.

"If you have an Internet Explorer app, but your staff try to load it up with Firefox or Chrome, they are going to encounter problems and that is a cost to IT," said Schare.

"Any work stoppage that results from that means the business just isn't functioning right."

Catalyst is available as a beta release at the moment and is expected to go on sale in early 2013.

Caroline Donnelly is the news and analysis editor of IT Pro and its sister site Cloud Pro, and covers general news, as well as the storage, security, public sector, cloud and Microsoft beats. Caroline has been a member of the IT Pro/Cloud Pro team since March 2012, and has previously worked as a reporter at several B2B publications, including UK channel magazine CRN, and as features writer for local weekly newspaper, The Slough and Windsor Observer. She studied Medical Biochemistry at the University of Leicester and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism at PMA Training in 2006.