Free Apps: Enterprise Freebies Get Serious - InformationWeek
IoT
IoT
Cloud // Software as a Service
News
3/11/2009
01:18 PM
50%
50%

Free Apps: Enterprise Freebies Get Serious

Like it or not, free software is powering the enterprise. Get comfortable with SaaS, Google Gears, Adobe AIR, application virtualization, and free apps from scores of startups and big-name vendors -- or get left behind.

Why are corporate-issue PCs so locked down?

Enterprise PCs have to offer stability and security first. Flexibility comes in a distant third. Allowing free rein for users to download free software can upset the delicate balance between core applications and the operating system, resulting in system slowdowns and intermittent crashes.




Google Gears uses your PC as an offline data storage repository for Web apps accessed through your browser.
(click for image gallery)

The other hurdle is the security threat, because nobody wants to be the one responsible for a data breach stemming from the installation of an unnecessary (or even frivolous) application. It's bad enough dealing with e-mail attachments, phishing scams, browser vulnerabilities and unsafe websites. Installing "free" applications inside the firewall? That's asking for trouble.

Nevertheless, the fear of new and unknown code runs counter to the development of a business culture that embraces innovation, experimentation, and customization, and this fear can have an impact on business strategy.

The ideal solution is an enterprise IT architecture that's stable on the inside and built for customization from the outside. That's part of the promise of technologies including SaaS (software as a service) Web applications, desktop applications built on Adobe AIR, offline data access through Google Gears, and application virtualization.

Each technology takes a different approach to application delivery, and you don't necessarily have to choose among them. But you should know the main approaches, how they work, and how they'll help your enterprise take advantage of more and better free stuff.

SaaS Applications

Improved user interface techniques have combined with fast, (almost) always-on connections to make online services a viable alternative to many PC applications. Depending on how many users you have and which services you require, trading from installed software licenses to online subscriptions can represent a good deal.

Previous
1 of 7
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
2017 State of IT Report
In today's technology-driven world, "innovation" has become a basic expectation. IT leaders are tasked with making technical magic, improving customer experience, and boosting the bottom line -- yet often without any increase to the IT budget. How are organizations striking the balance between new initiatives and cost control? Download our report to learn about the biggest challenges and how savvy IT executives are overcoming them.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll