App Store Essentials: Operating System Deployment through Your App Store

By Laura Noonan

Most people think of an enterprise app store as a mechanism for
giving employees self-service access to business applications, thereby speeding
application delivery and taking a huge load off the IT staff. Enterprise app
stores certainly fulfill that role. But the power of the enterprise app store
goes well beyond self-service application requests. App stores can also help IT
address a major challenge — migrating to new operating systems such as
Microsoft® Windows 7.

A well-architected enterprise app store accelerates
operating system deployment and minimizes disruption to users, the network and
the IT staff by automating much of the migration process. With an enterprise
app store, you can stock the shelves with the new operating environment along
with appropriate versions of the business applications on each user’s device
prior to the migration. What’s more, you can permit users to initiate migration
just as easily as they request applications.

But what constitutes well-architected operating system
deployment via your enterprise app store? Here are the top four characteristics
required to maximize the speed and efficiency of migration, ease the transition
for your users and keep IT in control of the migration process:

  1. Insight into the user’s environment.
    Users differ in the applications they have installed and their preferences and
    settings for each application. An enterprise app store solution should be able
    to collect data from the applications installed on user machines and intelligently
    leverage that data during migration to restore each user’s environment as
    closely as possible to its premigration state.
  2. Role-based application provisioning.
    Roles are logical
    containers of applications and settings that can be manually assigned or
    automatically applied to the operating system deployment build process based on
    various conditions. Your app store should support the definition of user
    roles that specify the applications and settings to be deployed to user
    computers. The solution can then automatically assign applications and settings
    to be applied based on roles.
  3. Integration of application delivery during
    build time.
    When application installations can occur during build, you
    enjoy substantially faster delivery times. As your enterprise deployment tool
    rolls out the operating system, the app store solution can assign the
    applications associated with the end user and computer, in the given order.
  4. Flexibility that doesn’t jeopardize control.
    It’s important that the solution offer users flexibility in scheduling
    migration in a way that minimizes disruption for them. However, your app store
    solution should also permit you to apply constraints, such as blackout dates and daily
    volume limits, to minimize the impact of deployment on the network and
    on the IT staff.

A solution with these characteristics enables you to move to
the new operating system with a minimum effort on the part of the IT staff.
Your users will thank you for making the migration as painless as possible.
Your IT staff will thank you for taking a huge burden off its shoulders. 

 

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