Yesterday, someone said I was “thought provoking.”
Thought I hadn’t thought about it before, being thought provoking would be my main objective the large majority of the time. Mostly because I’d like to be invited back to poke around in those thoughts & see what pops out.
I feel a little clarity. Kinda like when I realized my true core competency. Once realized, it’s been easy (easier?) to do better work. To celebrate, I thought I’d try to write a thought provoking post. And since I believe a great way to be thought provoking is to ask an obvious question about something the audience can relate to, that’s what I’ll do.
Get Ready to Be Thought Provoked
I wonder if Apple has an enterprise app store that mimics their game-changing public one?
Before you think what I’m asking, pause. Breathe (from your belly).
I don’t care if they have a piece of technology, some features & functionality, that allows IT to put apps somewhere that users can find & download them. (What all vendors call an Enterprise App Store.)
Isn’t that what an app store is? It is, but again, pause.
Is that ALL it is?
What about the part of the app store that, after a small developer fee, any developer can get a set of tools to help them write their apps in compliance with Apple’s policies?
What about the part of the app store that helps developers understand Apple’s policies for app approval or app design?
What about the public internet, with its robust network of API’s providing relevant information for developers to innovate with?
If I were being more explicit above, I’d wonder:
Has Apple created internal API’s so that any developer in Apple or at any of their partners can get access to information that allows them to innovate & do better work? This isn’t too far fetched, it’s how Amazon does everything.
Have they created internal policies to enable developers be compliant with Apple’s expectations for any apps written (& with any laws or regulations that apply)?
Has Apple created an internal approval process for apps to streamline their deployment? You can’t tell me this doesn’t scale — they’re already doing it for anyone on the internet that wants to write an app. It’s got to be easier to do it for the smaller subset of all employees & partners.
Lest you think that I’m just asking about people & process, a less important piece than the technology infrastructure… keep in mind what happens when the people & process fail. Read that link, and you’ll realize the obvious inference. The people & process are harder than the technology because it’s simple not possible that Google can’t handle the technology to create an app store.
The Real Question
Whether or not Apple has created such an app store isn’t really the question. Can you guess what is?
Should Apple, or your company, create such an app store?1
For Vendors of App Store Products
You have 2 choices:
- You can be reactive, waiting for customers who say “I need an app store,” and then go in & show off your features. Or…
- You can be a strategic advisor in an area where companies are thrashing. You can help customers understand what’s really going on with this mobile thing, help them realize it’s no longer business as usual, and that the enterprise app store product you’re selling is one small piece of the next enterprise computing paradigm.
What’s it gonna be?
(Much more on this topic to come as my brain decides to release it to my consciousness.)
- Punchline: I realize, I’m not talking about an App Store, I’m talking about an App Store Strategy that includes elements of business strategy, DevOps, & API’s among other things. [↩]