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We are living in an app store world

I’ve never found a mobile calendar app I’m 100% happy with.

Part of the problem is, I keep my work and personal calendars separate. Work runs on my Windows PC through Microsoft Outlook and Exchange; personal runs on the Web through Google Calendar. Complicating matters further, my mobile devices are made by Apple. And the three vendors’ products and platforms don’t always play nice.

Needless to say, searching for the Holy Grail of calendar apps is frustrating. But the actual process of finding and downloading apps is super simple, because we live in an app store economy. I just typed “calendar” into the Apple App Store search bar, and it spit out 7,103 results. In a matter of seconds, any one of those apps can be on my device. If I try one out and don’t like it, it can be off my device just as quickly.

Enterprise software deployment does not work this way. There is usually just one application for a specific task, and if users don’t like it, tough. At the very least, they’ll have to wait months or years while the IT department evaluates, pilots, purchases and deploys something new. Case in point: Back in November I attended a meeting to learn more about my company’s potential purchase of new collaboration software. In March — four months later — I received a follow-up email indicating the purchase is a go. It will probably be a few more months before the product is up and running.

The dichotomy between consumer and enterprise app deployment is stark, and it can cause significant problems in the business world. The cover story of this month’s Modern Mobility e-zine explores this issue and the potential solutions emerging in the market. If you’re struggling to meet users’ expectations, the issue is just a click away — as easy as downloading an app.