As IT departments wrestle with the challenge of BYOD and keeping personally owned devices secure, there’s a related trend that also has security issues, BYOA (Bring Your Own Apps).
The central issue is that as IT allows employees to use their personal smartphones and tablets on the corporate network, there is always the potential that someone will gain unauthorized access to files or use an app that infects the network with malware.
Citrix is one of many companies that offer Mobile Device Management (MDM) and Mobile Application Management (MAM) solutions, but with its new Worx App Gallery the company is looking to separate itself from competitors by offering a unique solution to the security issue.
Worx App Gallery was announced last May, with a handful of Citrix' own apps, but Wednesday the company announced it now has over 100 third-party Worx-enabled apps "committed" with plenty of new ones in the pipeline. Currently there are 36 non-Citrix apps in the Gallery, but Citrix says many more are "coming soon."
While the concept of an enterprise app store isn’t new, Chandra Sekar, Director of Product Marketing for the Mobile Solutions Group at Citrix says the tools available to create those are time-consuming and complicated.
“IT is frustrated because they have to take the time to figure out how to use these tools and it’s an ongoing process of working with outside vendors to buy and secure the apps and dealing with updates,” he said.
Worx App Gallery showcases only apps approved by the company including those on Google Play and Apple’s App Store as well as those developed internally.
Citrix says developers only need to add one line of code to link those apps to Citrix’s XenMobile infrastructure. On the end user or company side, you do need to have deployed the Citrix XenMobile infrastructure which includes security, policy and provisioning.
(App management, security and BYOD will be among the key topics discussed at the Tablet Biz conference and expo coming to New York on November 13, 2013)
“The Gallery provisions these apps in Citrix’ unified app store, but it’s not just a place to get mobile apps, you can get your Windows and SaaS-based apps there as well,” notes Sekar.
Reaching enterprise customers
He admits the Worx Gallery needs to grow the number of available apps, but says he expects a quick ramp up because third party vendors see a great distribution opportunity (as Citrix has over 260,000 customers and over 10,000 resellers) at no cost to them.
Sekar says Worx already has the apps to cover most of the common tasks enterprises are looking for including its own WorxMail, Citrix ShareFile, GoToAssist and Podio.
Non-Citrix enterprise apps that can be found in the Worx Gallery include: Averail Access, Breezy, Adobe Reader, bigtincanhub, Mobile Client for Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Mobile Pulse for iOS, Office HD, Polaris Office, Voltage SecureMail and Write PDF.