Businesses have relied on software applications to fuel operations for many years — but with the increased demand to stay connected and work more efficiently, this investment has grown.
According to a 2018 study from Okta, an identity-management firm, the number of software apps deployed by large firms across the globe increased by 68% in the previous four years, with each company boasting an average of 129 apps by the end of 2018. Meanwhile, smaller firms with fewer apps also saw an increase, from an average of 53 apps in 2015 to 73 in 2018. Considering this trend, it’s easy to see why more and more businesses are taking on application packaging projects.
Rather than requiring IT teams to manually go up to computers and install apps — a route that has become less feasible with more employees working from home — the apps can be automatically brought down to operating systems and made available to end-users.
Like many deployments, application packaging projects naturally come with complexities that can affect the speed and effectiveness of the deployment. Below, we’ve provided some useful tips on how to streamline this process and see the optimal results.
Tip #1: Develop Standards Based on Industry Best Practices
When software applications are sent down to machines, the intention is that every end-user will have the same experience using the apps. But that’s not always the case. Some may encounter difficulties utilizing certain features of an app, while others may not be able to log-in at all.
This lack of consistency speaks to the importance of standardization in application packaging projects. In order for software applications to perform the same on every machine, they must be sent down in a uniform manner that ensures proper performance and minimizes support issues.
The standards that guide this framework should be a combination of vendor-provided standards and corporate standards. While file versions and naming conventions should be standardized, it’s just as important that application packages meet business standards for secure access.
Tip #2: Gather Data on Your Current Application Inventory
Data is known to help drive informed decisions, and application packaging projects are no exception. Before packaging applications for automated deployment, take the time to evaluate the applications and packages that reside in your current IT environment.
You may gain a few insights as to how to optimize your infrastructure. In some instances, businesses may come across software applications that aren’t actively used by current employees, like an older workplace communication tool that has since been replaced. By excluding these unused apps from application packaging projects, you’ll simplify deployment, retain a healthier IT infrastructure and streamline the end-user experience.
In other instances, it may just be a matter of looking at the properties of the apps themselves. You may find, among other things, that some apps host plug-ins, add-ons or extensions or that it runs with elevated security privileges. These are all items that you’ll want to address before the packaging phase, so as to ensure apps are carried over with the right features and functionality.
Tip #3: Have a Plan in Place to Handle System Upgrades
App developers are always looking for opportunities to push their technology forward and create a better user experience. As such, upgraded versions of apps are rolled out on a routine basis, some of which focus more so on fixing bugs and others that focus on introducing new features.
Whatever the reason for an app upgrade may be, businesses should prioritize making the latest versions available within their application packages. This not only maximizes the satisfaction and productivity of the end-users, but it also closes gaps that can interfere with data security. To adjust the new format, app packages should be rescripted as new app versions are released.
Does your business have an application packaging project in the pipeline?
If so, TecSetGo can help. As a provider of application packaging services, we’ll assist you every step of the way to expedite installation times, minimize support issues and convert with confidence.