Gartner: 25% of enterprises will use corporate app stores by 2017

App store

A quarter of enterprises will have access to their own corporate app stores by 2017, predicts IT market watcher Gartner.

These hubs will provide business users with a range of apps that have been sanctioned for use by senior management, providing companies with greater control over the software their staff use.

Ian Finley, research vice president at Gartner, said enterprise app stores have the potential to improve security and simplify application procurement for larger firms.

Enterprise app stores enable procurement to broaden user choice by encouraging providers to submit competing apps.

"Enterprise app stores promise at least a partial solution [to security and procurement concerns] but only if IT security, application, procurement and sourcing professionals can work together to successfully apply the app store concept to their enterprises," said Finley.

"When successful, they can increase the value delivered by the application portfolio and reduce the associated risks, license fees and administration expenses."

The analyst house predicts enterprise app stores will allow IT departments to delegate application procurement to end users, which could save firms money.

Stewart Buchanan, research vice president at Gartner, explained: "Enterprise app stores enable procurement to broaden user choice by encouraging providers to submit competing apps, and to monitor demand for popular apps that may benefit from better negotiation of license terms and prices."

However, companies will need to constantly update the content of these app procurement hubs to encourage end users to keep visiting them, and let users provide feedback on the software offered through them.

"The primary determinant of success is app supply," said Brian Prentice, research vice president at Gartner. "The types of apps downloaded and used provide important information as to what types of solutions are of value to each type of user."

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.